Thursday, June 15, 2006

A Priest Chooses Love and Marriage

John Hank, a Roman Catholic priest, came to a thoughtfully considered decision after more than a decade of faithfully performing the spiritual duties of a priest: he wanted love, marriage and a family in his life.

About to celebrate his 14th anniversary, Hank still provides sacraments, including celebrating Mass, marrying people and spiritual counseling as a member of Celibacy Is The Issue Ministries (aka rentapriest.com), a lay organization that locates, recruits, certifies and promotes married Roman Catholic priests to fill the many spiritual needs of Roman Catholics.

This organization cites 21 canons which they claim justifies the use of married priests.

According to their interpretation, Can.1037, which requires priests to maintain celibacy, "is a merely ecclesiastical law (a man-made disciplinary law) of the Roman Catholic Church...Such laws are of human origin and can be altered or eliminated by human initiative in view of the changing pastoral circumstances of Christ's faithful."

They also feature a controversial book, The Bingo Report, by Louise Haggett which links mandatory celibacy to sexual abuse, according to a 10-year sociological study. Download the first chapter free.

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