(DW) A group of 11 retired high-ranking Catholic priests is causing a stir across Germany with their request to abolish celibacy. The men are part of a group of clerics who were anointed in 1967 in Cologne – a city considered both a Catholic stronghold and one of Germany’s most progressive and gay-friendly cities.
Among the men is Franz Decker, a retired priest who for over a decade led the Catholic Relief Service in Cologne. “We believe that requiring that every man who becomes a priest to remain celibate is not acceptable. We think, every Catholic should be allowed to choose if they would rather be celibate or not, regardless of whether they want to work as priests or not – just like in the evangelical Church or the Orthodox church, really, every church but the Catholic Church,” Decker told DW.
Decker and his friends argue that while celibacy might make for a good way of life for priests who live in communal monasteries, like many clergy used to, most modern priests often live by themselves and have little spiritual awakening to gain from church-imposed solitude and often suffer from the seclusion. [More]