Chapter

The Collapse of Celibate Exclusivity

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195082591.003.0013
The Collapse of Celibate Exclusivity

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This chapter contends that we are witnessing the collapse of celibate exclusivity in the Roman Catholic priesthood. Mandatory celibacy has already been identified as the major cause of decline in the priest population, and Catholic tradition is bound more deeply to sacerdotal sacramentalism than to male celibate exclusivity. The majority of Catholics would welcome a married (and gender‐inclusive) priesthood that would restore their rightful access to the sacraments, especially to the Eucharistic sacrifice of the Mass. It is argued that married men will be admitted to the priesthood during the lifetime of this generation of churchgoers, and a possible breakthrough scenario for this is presented.

Keywords: Catholic Church; celibacy; Eucharist; Mass; priesthood; priest shortage; sacerdotal sacramentalism; sacerdotalism; sacramentalism

Chapter.  5078 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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