11 retired Catholic priests try to put an end to celibacy
11 retired high ranking Catholic priests are causing a vocational drama across Germany with their request to abolish celibacy in an open letter, written in review of their fifty (50) years as clergy.
They are part of a group of clerics who were anointed in 1967 in Cologne, a city considered both a Catholic stronghold and one of Germany’s most progressive and gay-friendly cities.
Franz Decker, a retired priest speaking to DW said:
“We believe that requiring that every man who becomes a priest to remain celibate is not acceptable. We think, every Catholic should be allowed to choose if they would rather be celibate or not, regardless of whether they want to work as priests or not – just like in the evangelical Church or the Orthodox Church, really, every church but the Catholic Church.
What moves us is the experience of loneliness, as elderly people who are unmarried because our office required this from us, we feel it vividly on some days after 50 years on the job… We agreed to this clerical life because of our jobs, but we didn’t choose it.”
Decker and his friends also noted that celibacy might make for a good way of life for priests who live in communal monasteries, like many clergies used to.
Pope Francis, is yet to react to the open letter.