Edward Pentin of the National Catholic Register interviewed Cardinal Robert Sarah this week, ahead of the English translation of his new book on celibacy.
In Germany, a strange synod is clearly considering the questioning of celibacy. I wanted to cry out my concern: Do not tear the Church apart! By attacking the celibacy of priests, you are attacking the Church and her mystery!
The Church does not belong to us; she is a gift of God. She perpetuates herself through the ministry of priests, who are also a gift of God and not a human creation. Each priest is the fruit of a vocation, of a personal and intimate call from God himself. Benedict XVI explains this in depth in this book. One does not decide by oneself to become a priest. One is called by God, and the Church confirms this call. Celibacy guarantees this call.
…In the East, some churches have married clergy. I do not in any way question the personal holiness of these priests. But such a situation is only livable because of the massive presence of monks. Moreover, from the point of view of the sign given to the whole Church by the priesthood, there is a risk of confusion. If a priest is married, then he has a private life, a conjugal and family life. He must make time for his wife and children. He is unable to show, by his whole life, that he is totally and absolutely given to God and the Church. St. John Paul II stated it very clearly: The Church wants to be loved by her priests with the very love with which Jesus loved her, that is to say, with an exclusive spouse’s love.
You’ll want to read it all.