The clergy in the Roman Catholic Church is becoming a profession for gay men, a university professor has told BBC Radio.
“There is a real danger in the western Catholic church that the clergy will become a profession for homosexuals,” Eamon Duffy, Professor of the History of Christianity at Cambridge University said on BBC Radio Four’s “Analysis” programme last night.
He added that many gay clergy “are first class, marvellous priests but I think everybody sees that it would be undesirable to have the clergy predominantly homosexual.
A high proportion of men undergoing training as priests in the USA and Europe are thought to be gay
The programme looked at the challenges facing the worldwide Roman Catholic Church, led by an “absolute monarch”, including the controversial 1,200-years-old edict on celibacy.
“It is clearly the case that in many parts of the world celibacy has actually largely broken down – in many countries in Latin America, parts of Africa, to some extent in the United States,” said Father Timothy Radcliffe, Former Master General of the Dominican Order.
“If it turns out to be the case that it is being largely ignored or bypassed, then we have to ask is it possible now – either we have to provide celibate priests with considerably more support or we have to explore the possibility of them being married.”
In the UK, the church permits Anglican priests who are married to become Roman Catholic priests.