The president of the Latin American Bishops’ Council (CELAM), Archbishop Raymundo Damasceno, said during a press conference last week that celibacy “is not up for debate” at CELAM’s 32nd assembly nor “in the Church in general.”
The archbishop made his comments in the wake of the questions raised about celibacy by Father Alberto Cutie of Miami, who has been romantically involved with a woman.
He told reporters that celibacy “is not up for debate at this assembly nor in the Church in general, and so the priest who is ordained also must be prepared to exercise his ministry within the requirements the Church lays out for candidates to the priesthood.”
After noting that celibacy “is a gift from God and a charism proper to the ordained,” the archbishop explained that a man who is ordained “learns the demands of living the ministerial priesthood during the time of his formation.”
Archbishop Damasceno stressed that every priest freely chooses celibacy, “but one needs supernatural and spiritual resources in order to live the total commitment of service to the Church and the people of God.”