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Probably more important is that the Church has been so defeated and demoralised by the endless scandals that it lacks the confidence to stand by its traditional teachings.
So something like priestly celibacy, which was once so commonplace as to be unremarkable, will find outspoken critics among the clergy and few loud defenders among the laity.
Bishop Jaschke, in particular, has a history of calling for change.
In 2010 he told listeners to German radio that celibacy was a “fiction”, and explicitly linked it to sexual abuse scandals, arguing that the requirement of celibacy could lead to an unhealthy sexuality.
Magister also insists that the Pope is considering devoting the next synod of bishops to the issue.
There has been repeated speculation in German-language media over the last few years about Francis’s willingness to address priestly celibacy, not least the intervention of Austrian-born Bishop Erwin Kräutler, of Xingu in Brazil, who raised the problem of a lack of clergy in his huge prelature with the Pope.
The bishop said the Pope responded by urging him to make “bold, daring proposals”.
The sexual revolution did its work in the 1970s, when an enormous amount of priests left to get married.
Numbers have never recovered, and the resulting shortage of priests has become one of the main pragmatic arguments for relaxing the celibacy rule.
Moreover, the very idea of requiring perpetual celibacy from the clergy seems odd to today’s secular society.