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Religion | IN BRIEF

Celibacy Rule Defended by Conservative Priests

September 13, 2003|From Times Wire Reports

WASHINGTON — More than 600 members of a conservative Catholic priests' group told the nation's top Catholic bishop that ending mandatory celibacy will do nothing to boost the numbers of U.S. priests.

The Confraternity of Catholic Clergy said allowing priests to marry is not "the answer to the current problems facing the universal and local church."

The group's president, the Rev. John Trigilio, wrote to Bishop Wilton Gregory, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Trigilio was responding to an Aug. 19 petition from 163 Milwaukee priests, asking Gregory for a discussion on celibacy. The letter from the Milwaukee priests said celibacy was keeping qualified men from the priesthood and limiting parishioners' access to the sacraments.

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