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Growing up Orthodox Christian, I always scratched my head at the Catholic Church’s unique insistence on celibate parish priests. A priest’s wife can be such an asset to the community, and it certainly makes sermons and pastoral counseling feel more relevant when drawn from the priest’s personal experiences with marital and family issues. (Priests with young kids also tend to perform smoother christenings, given the slippery challenges of the Orthodox Christian  full-body dunk baptism.) Mandatory celibacy seems even more questionable to me now, when I’m reporting on the Vatican’s exceptions to the rules for married Anglican priests who convert and the Catholic Church’s eastern branch, the clergy abuse scandal and the shortage of American priests.

Full disclosure! However, that’s not the main reason why I’m chuckling at this silly story from the BBC:

Married priest: ‘Single clergy better placed to serve God’

Gee… you think? But hell, why draw the line at clergy? Wouldn’t it be great if surgeons had no outside lives to take them away from their jobs? How about police officers? Senators? Why not journalists — surely I would be “better placed” in my craft if I didn’t have a teething toddler on my lap while I’m typing up this blog post…

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

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