But I have thought about it and have done some reading.
I have read statistics showing Catholic priests are no more likely to sexually molest children than the rest of the population.
But isn’t the point that they should be significantly less likely to do so?
Then I read the Catholic church was providing training for priests to reduce the chances of them sexually molesting children. But if you need training to understand you shouldn’t sexually molest children, maybe ministry should not be your calling.
In short, I’ve seen a lot of discussion and citing of statistics but not much from the Bible.
In I Corinthians 7:7, the Apostle Paul, addressing his celibacy, says, “Yet I wish that all men were even as I myself am. However, each man has his own gift from God, one in this manner, and another in that.” Paul is saying celibacy is a gift from God and that not everyone has that gift.
Celibacy is not normal. The normal man has a desire to engage in sexual relations. It is the way man is created. In other words, it is not natural for a man to desire to be celibate. Yet the Catholic church has for more than 1,500 years required that priests be celibate.
Because celibacy is a gift, by requiring priests be celibate, the Catholic church is eliminating from the priesthood men who may make great priests but do not have the gift of celibacy. In other words, the Catholic church is eliminating from the priesthood normal men with a normal desire for sex.
To approach it from a different angle, those who want to be Catholic priests may be put in three groups: 1) those gifted by God to be celibate; 2) those not gifted by God to be celibate; or 3) those who are abnormal with regard to their sexual desire and mistake that abnormality for a gift for celibacy or a belief they can remain celibate. Consequently by requiring celibacy the Catholic church is dipping into the pool of sexual abnormality at a higher rate than other vocations.
I could be way off here. I’m not sure. But I am sure I’ve not heard an explanation that makes better sense to me. GS