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Jakarta Post

Celibacy: Sublime sacrifice or never-ending problem?

Jakarta   /   Wed, March 13, 2019   /  11:15 am
Celibacy: Sublime sacrifice or never-ending problem? Cardinal George Pell (C) leaves the County Court of Victoria court after prosecutors decided not to proceed with a second trial on alleged historical child sexual offences in Melbourne on February 26, 2019. Australian Cardinal George Pell, who helped elect popes and ran the Vatican's finances, has been found guilty of sexually assaulting two choirboys, becoming the most senior Catholic cleric ever convicted of child sex crimes. (AFP/Con Chronis)

Recently, Australian Cardinal George Pell was convicted of sexually molesting choir boys more than 20 years ago, making him the highest-ranking Roman Catholic leader ever to be found guilty of sexual abuse. The conviction only underscores the seriousness of sex crimes as a problem that has been plaguing the Roman Catholic Church, particularly regarding the celibacy of Catholic clerics. Knowing that all clerics in the Roman rite are obligated to be celibate, there are two main classifications of clerics: religious priests and diocesan priests. The former are those who are incardinated in a diocese and are under the authority of a bishop. The latter belong to a religious order, a so-called congregation. Diocesan priests make a promise of celibacy and religious priests take a vow of chastity. Both chastity and celibacy have the same practical effects. Both not only preclude marriag...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.