CELIBACY AND THE CHURCH
Sir, - Much as I admire Michael Commane's Rite and Reason contribution of April 30th, I must take issue with him on a few of his assertions. He will not remember me, but I remember him when he was chaplain to the Regional College in Sligo, now under another name.
He writes: "The Irish Church Hierarchy was the supreme authority in all matters dealing with sexuality". This is nonsense. The supreme authority is the teaching of Jesus Christ, which he appears to have overlooked.
He goes on to write that a German Dominican friend of his (not named) "believes" "that the Church in controlling people's sexual behaviour was able to extend control over all classes of people".
He provides no proof for this silly belief. This is rubbish.
As he well knows, nobody at the age of 13 or 18 or 20 was asked to make a livelong commitment to celibacy. He writes: "Young seminarians and novices were told that it was an eschatological sign - a sign to the world that union with God transcends sexual behaviour". Does it? As a young seminarian in Maynooth in the 1950s I never heard that. Maybe the young Dominican seminarians wrestled with that "eschatology".
There are three points made by Michael Commane with which I agree, and in which I will support him.
1. A priest needs to be happy in himself with his work and his life. I am. Is he?
2. There is no reason for diocesan priests to be celibate.
3. Bishops should not continue to be appointed in the most secretive of ways. - Yours, etc.,
Church of Mary Immaculate,