SHOULD there be an end to clerical celibacy in the Catholic Church? The former Bishop of Derry, Dr Edward Daly, spoke out at the start of the week, calling for “a place in the modern Catholic Church for a married priesthood”.
Bishop Daly said: “There will always be a place in the Church for a celibate priesthood but there should also be a place for a married priesthood in the Church. I think priests should have the freedom to marry if they wish.”
A controversial statement, but is he talking sense? In 2011 should the Vatican reconsider the laws that surround clerical celibacy? We took to the Kennedy Centre to find out.
Eileen Toner from Moyard said: “I think there should be an end to clerical celibacy, I always thought that way.”
“I think that priests should be allowed to marry,” added Margaret McCann. “Clerical celibacy should be brought to an end.”
Falls Road resident Margaret McAllister admitted: “I think it is a tricky question.”
Tony Buttimer from Andersonstown was adamant that things should remain as they are. “No – I don’t think it should happen,” he said.
19-year-old Lynsey Foster disagreed. “Yes, I think there should be an end to clerical celibacy – it’s the priests’ own lives at the end of the day.”
Finally, Sharon Cunningham summed it up by saying: “Yes, I think clerical celibacy should come to an end.
“I think it would create more of a family atmosphere in the Church if the priests had their own families.
“Reverends and pastors are allowed to marry – why can’t priests?”