Based on the continuous cases of sexual abuse hiting the Catholic Church in recently, some Port Harcourt pastors have suggested that the best and only remedy to these case is for the Catholic Church to allow its priests to get married.
Speaking in an interview , the pastors said that God did not ask anybody not to marry because of ministerial work. Therefore, there was no need for the Catholic Church to ban its priests from going into marriage.
According to them, the reason why they are indulging in sexual abuse is because of the doctrine of celibacy imposed on the priests and bishops.
A Port Harcourt-based pastor; Pastor James Ukoh whose church is located at Marine Base, said the day the Catholic Church established the doctrine of celibacy was the day it gave its priests and bishops the right to engage in fornication and all sort of immorality.
“I’m not surprised that the issue of sexual abuse is now causing problems in the Catholic Church. What do they expect the priests to do when they are denied the right to marry? Do they not know that these priests are human beings? Can you cheat nature? The leaders of the Catholic Church are to blame for whatever is happening now because they caused it. If they have allowed the priests to marry as we pastors do, they would not have been indulging in these sexual abuses.
“For God’s sake, these guys are humans and they need to burn off their human desires as God made it to be so. They’re not angels. Even the angels, at a stage, were so carried away by their sexual passions when they saw beautiful women on earth that they came down and had sex with them, as you can see in Genesis chapter 6. So, if spirits like angels could not control their sexual desires, how does the Catholic Church expect her priests to control theirs forever?”
Pastor Godson Abana, who owns a ministry in Rumuagholu, Obio/Akpor local government area of Rivers State, was pleased with Pope Francis for expelling some of the priests and bishops involved in sexual abuse recently.
However, he advised the Pope to use his office to empower Catholic priests to marry wives, arguing that when they start marrying wives legally, the tendency of them satisfying sexual desire by molesting little children would be very low.
“My brother, if you search the scripture very well, you will see that there is no place pastors are told not to marry. Priests are also pastors and they should be allowed to marry like us. They have blood, they have veins, they have muscles and they eat proteinous and fatty foods, so why won’t they look for where to burn off those fats? This thing is natural.
“They have been denied or rather forbidden from having sex by their Church for no just reason and I know that it is not normal. They should be allowed to marry women. Look, I commend the effort the present Pope is making, trying to sanitise the Catholic Church because this evil of sexually molesting little children has been happening in the Catholic Church for long. I thank him for refusing to cover it up and by expelling those culpable priests or forcing them to resign. But that is not the permanent solution. The only thing that will stop it finally is for the priests and bishops to be allowed to marry,” he said.
The General Overseer of True Faith In God Ministries, Woji; Pastor Sam Abiye, in his own reaction sympathized with the Catholic priests and bishops involved in the sex scandal.
“The Catholic priests are in bondage. What is painful the more is that the bondage was man-made in the name of God. The doctrine of celibacy, which prevents and forbids priests from marrying, is not of God; it was man-made. The Catholic Church should abrogate that law and allow its priests and bishops and even the Pope, to marry. It will not reduce their holiness. Jesus interacted with women. The bible even recorded that Mary and Martha were his friends. So, there is nothing wrong if priests and bishops are allowed to marry. Even the bible warned that a bishop must have one wife, meaning that marriage is condition or requirement for anybody who wants to be a bishop.” Pastor Abiye, said.
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