2019 has not, thus far, been a joyful year for Britain. Knife crime – numbers of young people stabbing one another on the streets of our cities – has risen steadily and looks set to continue to do so. Political life has been chaotic, giving a general sense of uncertainty and confusion over the one thing of which we have long been confident – the resilience and reasonable competence of our system of governance. And the sinister political-correctness which over the past few years has increasingly sought control over our lives continues to grow in strength and in nastiness.
Debates about clerical celibacy are nothing new. There have been many arguments and challenges over the centuries. It is commonly asserted that celibacy is a “medieval” innovation, imposed on Catholic priests only a thousand years ago. In fact, scholarly studies have demonstrated that, in essence, it can be traced back to apostolic times.
We continue our series of meditations, drawn from the works of Blessed John Henry Newman, on the Mysteries of the Rosary. These meditations have been collected together by a Sister of the Benedictine Abbey of St Cecilia on the Isle of Wight.