Compulsory Celibacy and the Priest Shortage

Richard A. Schoenherr

Edited by David Yamane

in Goodbye Father

Published in print October 2002 | ISBN: 9780195082593
Published online April 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780199834952 | DOI:
Compulsory Celibacy and the Priest Shortage

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Since the priest shortage in the Catholic Church is the core of the theoretical model of social change in organized religion presented in Part II of the book, this chapter summarizes the major findings of the author's demographic investigations of the diocesan priesthood population in the USA, and treats the major cause of priest shortage – mandatory celibacy. It reviews the empirical research on the issue and considers whether dissatisfaction with compulsory celibacy stems from short‐ or long‐term attitudinal (social) change. It also examines the impact of homosexuality in the priesthood on attitudes to mandatory celibacy.

Keywords: Catholic Church; celibacy; homosexuality; priesthood; priest shortage; social change; USA

Chapter.  6207 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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