A leading missionary priest has claimed that celibacy will soon be a thing of the past – and described it as a ‘business arrangement’ for the Catholic Church.
Fr Shay Cullen has earned three Nobel Peace Prize nominations for his work saving hundreds of children from a life of sexual abuse in the Philippines.
For the past 40 years he has worked with the children in a Filipino city of Olongapo.
Speaking to legendary Irish broadcaster Gay Byrne on state television station RTE, Fr Cullen predicted celibacy will soon be outdated.
“Celibacy is only a practice mostly to keep property out of the hands of married couples, it’s more sort of a business type of arrangement,” said Fr Cullen.
“All of the other Christian churches manage very well and many Anglicans who were married and had family and children and came over to the Catholics and were warmly accepted.
“Now we have many married priests in the Catholic Church and it is working, so why not?
“It is only another step to abolishing this celibate thing and getting on with life.”
Speaking of his work in the Philippines, the priest told the RTE programme that his faith kept him from being frightened away by the local mafia.
He also engaged the wrath of the country’s former first lady Imelda Marcos when he exposed the rape of Filipino children to the rest of the world.
“I just couldn’t ignore it but I got the heat for it. Imelda Marcos wasn’t pleased, the wife,” he said.
“They started to deport me and put me on trial and all these legal harassments. We succeeded in beating the raps in the court so I stayed on.
“I like to think of God in terms of the existence of eternal goodness and the power and the force of love.”
The Irish Independent reports that, in a frank interview, Fr Cullen revealed he currently has 35 cases going through the courts in his adopted country.
“I never doubt what I am doing. It is the right thing to do. Nearly every new day we have some new case of the rape of a child. It’s terrible. I see torture, abuse, human rights violations every day,” he said.