The New York Review of Books published an article by Hans Küng, the Catholic theologian forbidden to teach by the pope. Küng blames the compulsory celibacy imposed on Catholic priests for most of the sexual scandals haunting the Church and demands Rome to abolish it.
According to Küng, there are no reasons on any kind of grounds, for the continuity of this practice abandoned by all the other Christian denominations. Historically, obligatory celibacy was introduced as late as the eleventh century under the pressure of the monks (let me add: and to avoid the division of valuable heritages). Theologically, the New Testament preceptive is clear:
According to 1 Timothy 3:2, “A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife” (not “of no wife”!).
In the end, Küng appeals to the bishops to “muster the courage to urge emphatically on Pope Benedict XVI” to do a “mea culpa” and open the discussion on the celibacy rule that was suppressed at the end of the Second Vatican Council in the sixties.