, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 22 – Celibacy in priesthood is what has made the Catholic Church unique.
But it has come with equal controversy causing a split within the Roman Catholic Church.
There have been arguments whether celibacy is supported in the Bible or if it is an ecclesiastical tradition of the Roman Catholic Church.
In Kenya like in many parts of the world, traditional Catholics who strongly uphold the values of true calling to priesthood and associate them with celibacy, have disagreed with priests who have decided to marry and sire children.
Whereas this debate has been a thorny issue in the Catholic Church, it is apparent that the Roman Catholic Church is not about to relent or change the church rules to accommodate such priests.
Bishop Alfred Rotich who is in charge of the Catholic’s secretariat preparing for the Pope’s visit next week, blatantly made it clear.
Marrying priests are not considered as clergy and they will not be welcomed to the clergy meeting with the Pope.
“People who ascribe to the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience if there are many who have moved out of the Catholic Church mainstream they are not welcome,” Bishop Rotich asserted without mincing his words.
He said it has been a prayer in the Catholic Church that all those called to serve as priests remain celibate as per the teachings and faith of the church.
“At the mass including the Pope himself is celibate, the bishops, the cardinals and including the priests who are co-celebrating will have a discourse together…this is the prayer of the church that we continue being celibate.”
Some priests have gone public to break the vows of celibacy and even introduced their wives and children.
Bishop Geoffrey Shiundu heads the Ecumenical Catholic Church which allows priests to marry and have children.
It is estimated that the branch has a membership of about 40 priests who argue that celibacy is not practical hence it should be scrapped.
Some of those who proclaim marriage of priests have claimed that celibacy in the Catholic Church was leading to commission of sins since they cannot do without families and satisfying their bodily needs.