Winters on Father Cutie Scandal

I have an article on the scandal surrounding Father Cutie and the issue of clerical celibacy at Slate today. You can read it here.

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9 years ago
Michael, a couple of amplifications.    1st - The "sexual abuse scandal of 2002" is not limited to that year alone. The lingering suspicion of priests and our Bishops helps fuel the antiCatholicism of our time. The belief among many Catholic leity is that the priest shortage was a direct contributor to the Bishops' failures to confront the problem. We can relate to Fatheir Cutie because we understand his impulse (and because he looks a lot like Ben Afleck). We cannot relate to the monsters who preyed on children and the bishops who enabled them. Father Cutie is a protagonist in in the story of the American Catholic church's continuing crisis.    2nd - You left out the part of Father Cutie's quote from his CBS TV interview when he intimated that priestly celibacy should be optional. We have heard for decades the warnings of our bishops that soon there wouldn't be enough priests to go around, and we're finally getting near that point (except, apparently, on Staten Island). To worry over whether Catholic parishes could afford to pay priests enough to support a family is specious. Episcopalians seem to be footing the bill just fine. Why can't we make an accommodation for diocesesan priests to be married and leave celibacy to those orders for whom celibacy still makes sense?
9 years ago
The Slate article is very well written.  The only thing that might need a bit more emphasis is that not taking a vow of chastity does not mean that the priest is free to engage in flirtations or more.
9 years ago
I once broached the subject of former priests who left to get married coming back in and shaking things up with a former professor who is in that category.  He pointed out that most of them are now nearing retirement age, so there will be no mass returns to set things right.  Others have pointed out that not all of them left to wed, but because the work environment was a bit toxic.  Allowing marriage won't correct the latter flaw.  That must be done by the faithful and their power of the purse.
9 years ago
The call for ending mandatory celibacy for diocesan priests of the Latin Rite is increasing weekly. The 100 'convert' married priests now serving in the US is the 'nose under the tent'.. The Closings of inner -city and rural parishes due to the priest shortage , is pushing the Church into a Catholic suburban middle class ghetto. ugh!!!! 16000 married deacons need to be fully ordained so they and their families can 'show a new flag' to a declining presence.. the deacons need to speak up and not worry about homily assignments.. cowardness in the field is not edifying to see....      
9 years ago
Glad you spelled out the differences between the vows taken by religious and the promises made by secular/diocesan priests - it so often gets conflated in our minds.
9 years ago
The 100 married 'convert' priests are not assigned to rural or inner-city parishes about to be closed.. most seem to be assigned to Catholic colleges and high schools so they can be given academic salaries ..much more than diocesan priests ... so they can support their families.. 'what webs are woven when we try to deceive' Reminds me of unions signing two-tier contracts when they are at their weakest point... desparation disguised as compassion..

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