Roman Catholics: The Case Against Celibacy

During a private audience with Pope John XXIII one December afternoon in 1960, the French Catholic philosopher Etienne Gilson touched on the subject of priestly celibacy. "The Pope's face became gloomy, darkened by a rising inner cloud," Gilson later reported. "Then the Pope added in a violent tone, almost a cry: 'For some of them it is martyrdom. Yes, a sort of martyrdom. It seems to me that sometimes I hear a sort of moan, as if many voices were asking the church for liberation from the burden. What can I do? Ecclesiastical celibacy is not a dogma....

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