Vienna, Austria, Mar 11, 2010 / 18:30 pm
After media outlets misinterpreted an article by Cardinal Christoph Schönborn to say that he is questioning the Church's rule of priestly celibacy, several high ranking churchmen have spoken out in praise of celibacy as a gift. They also dismissed the idea that celibacy is connected to pedophilia.
Greeting participants and introducing the sessions for the international theological conference taking place at the Pontifical Lateran University of Rome on Thursday, Cardinal Claudio Hummes called the celibacy of priests "a gift of the Holy Spirit." Other cardinals have also weighed in on the role of celibacy in recent days.
"Priestly celibacy is a gift of the Holy Spirit that asks to be understood and lived with fullness of meaning and joy, in total rapport with the Lord," said Cardinal Hummes, the prefect of the Congregation for Clergy, according to ASCA news of Italy.
"This unique and privileged relationship with God makes the priest the true witness of a singular spiritual paternity ..." continued Cardinal Hummes.