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Globe coverage of the scandal has been divided into nine categories:

Should celibacy be reconsidered?

In the wake of the clergy abuse scandal, some theologians have argued that the church's policy on celibacy fosters sexual dysfunction and abusive behavior among priests. While certain members of the clergy support the abolition of celibacy, others defend the practice as a sacred expression of their love for God. Here is a selection of viewpoints on the celibacy issue from the Globe Op-Ed page.

James Carroll
Catholic priests should be free to marry
The cloud of suspicion shadowing the entire priesthood is unfair, yet the scandal has also surfaced, especially among Catholics, a deep skepticism about priestly celibacy.

Ellen Goodman
What celibacy's got to do with it
I am no theologian. Many priests believe that celibacy frees them to devote themselves to others beyond family. I'm sure that's true for some. And sure, too, that it isolates others.

Thomas H. Groome
It's time to reconstruct the priesthood
Reconsidering celibacy and maleness as preconditions for entering the Catholic priesthood is the right thing to do theologically and for the life of the church.

Rev. Kevin White
Celibacy and the power of belief
Like marriage, which in its own way witnesses to God's presence in the world and which suffers its own distress these days, celibacy is ultimately an expression of great love.

Garry Wills
The scourge of celibacy
By endowing priests with an aura of discipline and trust, the Catholic Church's policy on celibacy fosters pedophilia and facilitates coverups.


Illustration / Jon Krause


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