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Bishops' Secretary confirms priests' survey on celibacy

The general secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference, Fr Brian Lucas, confirmed yesterday that he had received the summary and sent it to all 43 bishops.

CathNews on Wednesday cited an Online Catholics report on Catholic Church Life Survey data suggesting seven in 10 Australian Catholic priests feel negative about celibacy, and more than half think it should be optional.

The report, to to the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, is yet to be released. It is based on a doctoral thesis at Australian Catholic University by Jane Power, who found that 55% of Australian priests believe celibacy should be optional, and another 16% believe obligatory celibacy had had a negative impact.

The Age today quotes Dr Power, who says she had found a significant association between lack of support for celibacy and thoughts of resigning.

"Priests over 66 were more orthodox in their attitude to celibacy and the readmittance of resigned priests - the subtext of that is accepting married priests," she said. "The youngest priests also show a tendency to be more orthodox. The ones going into seminary now are a lot more conservative, which is not surprising given the culture of the organisation at the moment."

Priests question vow of celibacy (The Age 1/10/04)

71% of Aussie Priests give obligatory celibacy the thumbs down (Online Catholics 29/9/04)
Survey of Australian priests' finds 71% question compulsory celibacy (CathNews 29/9/04)
71% of Aussie Priests give obligatory celibacy the thumbs down (Catholic World News 29/9/04)
Australian priests question celibacy rule (Catholic World News 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)

31 Oct 2004