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Canberra bishop urges rethink on celibacy


Auxiliary Bishop Pat Power of Canberra-Goulburn Archdiocese has suggested a review of compulsory celibacy for priests in the wake of the clergy sex abuse scandal.

He told ABC Radio's Monica Attard that sexual abuse in the church is "very worrying" and non-celibate clergy were far less likely to commit sexual offences.

"The priest living within the safety and the security and the happiness of the family life would be less likely, I think, to be tempted in that way," he said.

Bishop Power, who was a guest on ABC Local Radio's Sunday Profile program, pointed out that celibacy was originally introduced so church property would remain in the church, and not be inherited by a priest's children or spouses.

He said a wide-ranging review of celibacy by the Catholic church hierarchy should consider re-admitting priests who had left the clergy to marry.

However, local Catholic leaders, including Archbishop John Bathersby, refused to comment publicly, with a spokeswoman for the Catholic Church in Brisbane telling The Courier-Mail it was "hard to get someone (in the church) to comment on another Bishop".

LINKS
Sunday Profile
Archdiocese of Canberra-Goulburn | Bishop Patrick Power

SOURCE
Courier-Mail

26 Aug 2002