Pell foreshadows ordination of married men
Sydney's Arhcbishop George Pell has said in a newspaper interview that it's possible the fall in numbers entering the priesthood would prompt the Church to allow the ordination of married men.
"Whether that would help us or not, I'm not sure," he told a Sydney newspaper in an interview reported in this week's Catholic Weekly. "I'm a strong supporter of clerical celibacy,"
Celibacy, he said, brings "immense benefits to the Church" and is "probably the best sign to people outside the Church that we're not in this business simply for our own advantage", according to Sydney Archbishop Dr George Pell.
He described the incidences of sex abuse crisis in the US as a "profound challenge" and a "shameful episode" that have "brought a lot of hurt to the victims", but denied that they amount to a crisis.
"There's no doubt it's weakened our moral authority in society generally," he said.
The Church has taken steps, he said, to ensure that priests do not err. Seminary candidates have must undergo psychological assessment. And courses in psycho sexual development are in their curriculum.
The archbishop said the alleged link between celibacy and child sexual abuse was not sustainable. Most child sexual abuse occurs within the family, he said.
9 May 2002