The spate of recent child abuse sex scandals across the United States and Europe will not prompt the Finnish Catholic Church to review its stance on compulsory celibacy, the church has said.
Last weekend, the head of the German Catholic association, Alois Gluck, said that the time had come to put an end to celibacy vows for Catholic priests. His demands stemmed from continued sex scandals that have plagued the Catholic Church.
“The media have exaggerated the issue,” said the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Church in Finland, Teemo Sippo, adding that Finland’s Catholic priest community had not discussed the latest European scandals. Sippo also claimed that no case of sexual child abuse towards children had ever been reported inside the Finnish Catholic church and that recent paedophilia discussions were cathartic. “The problem has been that people have tried to hide it. The whole atmosphere will improve now that it’s taken seriously,” said Sippo.
YLE reports that despite undisputed evidence that early Catholic priests were often married, the modern practice of the church pledges perennial celibacy. While some countries, Ukraine for example, allow priests to wed, Finland has no such intentions. “A priest should give all his strength to the church. The congregation is the priest’s wife,” claimed Sippo.