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Survey of Australian priests' finds 71% question compulsory celibacy

A yet-to-be released report to the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) has found that 55% of priests in Australia believe that optional, rather than obligatory celibacy would be appropriate for priests in the Catholic Church. A further 16% of priests said that obligatory celibacy has had a negative impact.

Today's issue of Online Catholics says the report, which was presented to the ACBC Board of management two weeks ago, is a major analysis of the Catholic Church Life Survey (CCLS) of priests in parish ministry conducted in May 2001.

The report also reveals a correlation between priests with little support for mandatory celibacy and frequency of thinking of resigning.

The finding that 71% of respondents have a negative view of the obligation of celibacy is in accord with recently released work from overseas. Last week in the United States, a 53 diocese study revealed that 67% priests surveyed want optional celibacy discussed.

The Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference has yet to respond to the report.

71% of Aussie Priests give obligatory celibacy the thumbs down (Online Catholics 29/9/04)

National Church Life Survey
US priests urge optional celibacy (CathNews 21/8/03)
Celibacy formation a major part of seminary programs today (Catholic News Service 12/3/04)
Priestly Celibacy, a Supernatural Sign (Zenit 6/9/03)
The growing cost of mandatory celibacy (National Catholic Reporter 17/10/03)
Optional Celibacy (Call to Action USA)

29 Sep 2004