The Guardian, Face to Faith: The troubled history of priests, sex and the church may be at a turning point

The biblical foundation for a celibate priesthood is flimsy, and now cracks are beginning to show in the Catholic church’s ban on marriage for those in holy orders

In a new autobiography published this week, Father Edward Daly, former bishop of Derry and the handkerchief-waving priest of the famous Bloody Sunday photograph, has called for an end to the celibacy rule for Catholic priests. Pointing to the severe decline in numbers of serving clergy (while the worldwide Catholic population has almost doubled since 1970, the number of priests has remained virtually static), Daly believes crisis could be averted by allowing priests to marry. Many see clerical celibacy as fundamental to the church, but in fact it is a religious tradition rather than a strict scriptural prohibition, and it has been far from universally observed throughout its history…

The Guardian, 17 September 2011, p. 53.

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