March 23, 2002

Priests and celibacy - Reply

A reader replies: "The development of birth control has probably made priestly celibacy a less attractive option. If marriage no longer means having a large and demanding family, fewer men will want to become priests. I forget where I read this (Fukuyama? Tiger ? iSteve?), but if families are smaller, fewer parents will direct a child to become the priest or nun in the family. They'd rather have grandchildren. Of course another factor is that economic growth and the decline in discrimination against Catholics in mixed, or formerly occupied Catholic countries like Ireland and Poland means that there are more jobs available for educated Catholics."

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