I read another report in the news this morning on the lines of yet another peodophile priest! That this had happened is an appalling fact but it gave me pause to wonder at the assumption that priests are automatically labelled as that, almost as a matter of course.
I have friends amongst the Catholic clergy who on ordination gladly took on the burden of celibacy. Most stick to it of course but those who don't, and of course the only ones we know about, often turn to children. But this does not mean they are automatically peodophiles surely?
In a lifetime of no close relationships, no human love and warmth a relationship with a child may well be the safe bet....a child can be persuaded or frightened into not revealing what has happened. Often it's only much later in life that they feel able to speak out.
It is of course an appalling breech of care and all that goes with their position of trust but I can't help but wonder if automatically calling them all peodophiles is accurate.
Maybe now is the time to release priests from the vows of celibacy. Many in the Church of England live lives of celibate holiness too....but it's a state they choose. It's not imposed upon them.
I took a vow of chastity on being priested. Chastity is different from celibacy. I have no problem with it.
And although I deplore those who do seek relief with children I also think the Church of Rome needs to be asking itself some serious questions on this subject.