The Belgian Bishops and The WSJ Poll About Priest Celibacy
I would have tought (in a cynical moment; it happens) that nowadays the main occupation of Belgian bishops was to try to stay out of scandal and help rebuild some reputation.
Funnily, though, it would seem that they still have time to question priest celibacy. Now it is true that priest celibacy is a matter of discipline rather than of doctrine, but one would really think that the gentlemen would have something better to do than to question an extremely old church institution and one which has worked so well all these centuries, accompanying the growth of the Church through the entire planet.
I might be an idiot (and there are people around saying I am, though knowing them I am reassured they do), but in the little world of Mundabor if your national church is ridden by scandals and covered in shame you want to react with more orthodoxy, not with less; with coming back to doing things as they were done and paying attention that you reconstruct church life from their very foundations.
I wouldn’t expect you (as in “you hypothetical Belgian bishop”) to react by starting a debate that must be confusing to most local Catholics, particularly considering that they’ll wonder whether there aren’t more pressing priorities themselves. I would also expect that you, as one of the shepherds, realise that the departure from orthodoxy is what caused the problems in the first place; that when you kick orthodoxy out of the door you have Satan coming in from the window; that you can’t expect to start corrupting the Teaching without the same corruption penetrating the very walls of your organisation, affecting the very people entrusted with the Teaching and who have now made themselves unfitting to protect it.
The Belgian bishops seem not to live in the little world of Mundabor. Fair enough. But the “Wall Street Journal” has set up a poll asking the public to have their say.
Turns out that as I write 85.5% are in favour of priest celibacy. I am curious to see how it ends, but this might well be another “Papal Visit Moment”, when one discovers that what the press publishes is pure fantasy created with a political agenda or because it makes for some nice headlines.