Roman Catholics: Celibacy Confirmed

Pope Paul last week closed the doors on any hopes that the Roman Catholic Church might soon relax its insistence on celibacy for priests. In a 12,500-word encyclical called Sacerdotalis Caelibatus (Priestly Celibacy), the Pope decreed that the present ban on marriage "should today continue to be firmly linked to the ecclesiastical ministry."

One by one, the Pope took up the objections to celibacy — that it is contrary to human nature, that there is no Scriptural basis for it, that its observance has become almost impossible — and rejected them all. On the practical level, he answered, celibacy "gives...

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