Fr Chris Findlay-Wilson made the below defence of priestly celibacy in the Catholic Herald (15th Dec., letters):
"a fresh witness of true love is desperately needed; that it is love – not sex – that fulfils us as human beings."
This is a point often made by Fr Holloway, decades ago e.g.
The Catholic failure to address the modern equation that sex equals love, which has in turn meant that sex has become more and more identified with consensual fun, supports this recent challenge of one thread of Bishop Barron’s thought.
Fr. Chris Findlay-Wilson's letter follows:
- I note that Jack Robbins’s letter (8th December) asking for ‘many more’ married priests ignores Fr Hellyer’s powerful theological reasoning for celibacy (letter, November 24th). It seems that proponents for change aren’t interested in the deeper reasons for the Church’s unique vision of celibate love, dismissing it as merely a pragmatic discipline. St Peter’s mother-in-law is mentioned, but never his “what about us who have given up everything for you” (where is his wife even named?). There appears often to be a starry-eyed fixation on marriage as a solution to the present crisis. Who would not argue that marriage is a vital and beautiful vocation? But let’s not imagine it’s somehow an easier, more manageable option, especially if we are to be faithful to Catholic teaching.
In our morally chaotic era of Hugh Hefner and Harvey Weinstein where even devout teenagers are drawn into online pornography, a fresh witness of true love is desperately needed; that it is love – not sex – that fulfils us as human beings. In fact this truth is surely the one answer to all the hot-button issues of our time: Communion for the re-married; same-sex attraction and the challenge of contraception within marriage. A bold and radical turning back to Jesus and the Gospel calls for a rediscovery of the unique and positive power of chaste love. In fact we need the witness of priestly celibacy more now than ever."
March/ April 2020
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