Roman Catholics: Talking Back to Rome

Where the inalienable right to marriage and procreation is lacking, human dignity has ceased to exist.

So declared Pope Paul VI last March in Populorum Progressio, his encyclical on economic and social justice. Does this inalienable right exist for Roman Catholic priests? Last week the Rev. John A. O'Brien, professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame, used the encyclical's noble words to challenge the Pope's recent decision upholding mandatory celibacy for priests. Addressing almost 200 fellow clerics gathered at Notre Dame, O'Brien said: "For years, countless thousands of priests have felt that they were being deprived of an inalienable,...

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