Why an All-Male, Celibate Priesthood?

Catholics and non-Catholics alike often question the practice of requiring celibacy for priests, and of only ordaining men.  For many, these are practices clung to by an out-of-date institution, controlled by old men in Rome, refusing to read the signs of the time.

As with all the Church’s teachings and practices, there are profound reasons why priests are male and celibate. These reasons will be considered, as well as various objections and responses, including:

  • How can the Church ordain only men without denigrating the dignity of women?
  • Weren't there women at the Last Supper?
  • Isn’t celibacy just a medieval invention to protect the Church from losing property?
  • If priests could get married, wouldn’t the child abuse problem evaporate from the priesthood’s ranks?

The presentation will help the audience to see how closely masculinity and celibacy are tied up with priestly identity, which is in turn a gift to the Church.