Allow priests to marry, says former Northern Ireland bishop

Former bishop of Derry Edward Daly calls for scrapping of celibacy rule for clergy amid decline in number of young priests.

A high-profile bishop who tended some of the dead and wounded of Bloody Sunday has called for an end to celibacy in the clergy.

Edward Daly, who was bishop of Derry for nearly 20 years, said allowing the clergy to marry would solve some of the church’s problems. He is the most senior figure in Irish Catholicism to challenge the ban.

The number of Catholic priests in Ireland is in sharp decline as older clergy die out and very few young men choose to take up a celibate life. In some parishes the church has transferred priests from Poland and the developing world to fill the gap.


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3 replies

  1. Quite some time ago I read that the profession which counted the longest living persons in Switzerland was: Protestant Priests! It seems being married was healthy for them (and in addition they did not seem to have a lot of professional pressure: secure lifetime job, no worries, their errors would only be visible during the next life…)

  2. I can predict that one day the Catholic Church will give up the institution of celibacy, it is a question of when not if!

    Celibacy is a man made institution as we are told in the Holy Quran:

    “Then We caused Our Messengers to follow in their footsteps; and We caused Jesus, son of Mary, to follow them, and We gave him the Gospel. And We placed in the hearts of those who accepted him compassion and mercy. But monasticism which they invented for themselves — We did not prescribe it for them — for the seeking of Allah’s pleasure; but they did not observe it with due observance. Yet We gave those of them who believed their due reward, but many of them are rebellious.” (Al Quran 57:28)

    I have had a Google knol on this issue for sometime and I am glad to see this new endorsement for marriage from Derry Edward Daly. Thank you Hibatur Rehman for bringing it to our attention. My Google-knol is titled, Celibacy or Islamic teaching of Chastity: that is the question? Here is the link:

  3. The Catholic bishop of Thailand once upon a time on a visit to the Vatican suggested that the Catholic Church should copy the Thai Bhuddist system of ‘temporary monks’. In Thailand every male is expected to be a monk for some time, I think the usual shortest time may be in the region of 90 days. (It is even included in the labor laws that the employer will have to grant leave for the employee wanting to take up this religious duty). His suggestions was however ignored (so far).

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