× Digital News Videos Health & Science Opinion Education Columnists Lifestyle Cartoons Moi Cabinets Kibaki Cabinets Arts & Culture Podcasts E-Paper Tributes Lifestyle & Entertainment Nairobian Entertainment Eve Woman TV Stations KTN Home KTN News BTV KTN Farmers TV Radio Stations Radio Maisha Spice FM Vybez Radio Enterprise VAS E-Learning Digger Classified Jobs Games Crosswords Sudoku The Standard Group Corporate Contact Us Rate Card Vacancies DCX O.M Portal Corporate Email RMS

Defectors owe Catholics an apology

By | June 9th 2009

Contrary to Caren Kakuko’s assertions in a letter (Of priests and marriage on June 6), there are a number of valid reasons to retain priestly celibacy.

Pope Paul VI stated that the grace of fidelity to celibacy is ‘never denied to those who ask it sincerely’.

Celibacy has an eminent spiritual dimension that greatly transcends the question of discipline.

Stefan Heid, professor of liturgy and hagiography at the Pontifical Institute of Christian Archeology, stated that according to the judgment of the early Church, ecclesiastical celibacy has dogmatic relevance.

Celibacy is a time-honoured tradition that has been embraced and guarded by the Catholic Church for centuries as a brilliant jewel.

The Second Vatican Council confirmed that Christian priesthood could be understood only in the light of the newness of Christ, the supreme Pontiff and eternal priest, who instituted the priesthood of the ministry as a real participation in his own unique priesthood.

To share authentically in the ministerial priesthood of Christ means to devote one’s entire life to the faith while sharing with Christ his very condition of living.

Jesus promised a more abundant recompense to anyone who should leave home, family, wife and children for the sake of the Kingdom of God (Luke 18: 29-30).

There is ample evidence in the words of Jesus and St Paul for looking upon virginity as a higher calling, and by inference, as the condition befitting those who are set apart for the work of the ministry.

In the words of Pope John Paul II: "The value of celibacy as a complete gift of self to the Lord and his church must be carefully safeguarded...the life of chastity, poverty and obedience willingly embraced and faithfully lived confutes the conventional wisdom of the world and challenges the commonly accepted vision of life.’’

— Paul Kokoski, Canada

Recently, the media have carried stories to the effect that some Catholic priests are defecting from the priesthood to join other churches or simply get married.

While these are issues that border on freedom of choice, I still feel that such priests owe us, the Catholic faithful, an apology for letting us down.

These are the same priests who vowed before us that they were joining priesthood forever, and that nothing would ever make them turn their backs to the faith.

It’s disappointing when these priests now use the media to announce their departure from priesthood because of issues related to celibacy instead of using the pulpit to break the news to us.

Why can’t they step up to the front of the church and announce their defection to the Catholic faithful? After all, these are the people who attended their ordination.

They could also use the opportunity to seek forgiveness from the faithful for having let the Church down. We are human beings and understand that weaknesses are part of us. In any event, these defectors are not the first to leave the Roman Catholic Church.

A number of bishops have equally found themselves in the same boat. An example is Zambian Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo whose defection is still quite vivid in the minds of many faithful.

— Ng’ang’a wa Gatibui, Kibichoi

Share this story
Antoine Hey: A troubled man
Since his appointment as national team coach on February 19, retired German football player, Antoine Hey has been a darling of headline writers in the country’s newsrooms, but a divisive figure elsewhere.
Opening Ceremony: Kenya takes her pride of place as 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games begin
Team Kenya Paralympics strolled majestically into the Tokyo Olympic Stadium led by captain Rodgers Kiprop and Powerlifter Hellen Wawira for the Openin