One of the keystone beliefs of the Roman Catholic Church is the vow of celibacy. Priests and nuns who serve God under the Catholic clergy are not allowed to marry and be in a relationship with someone since they must be in complete service to God. Coupled with this vow is the promise of chastity. It means that being a messenger of the Christian faith entails total departure from any sexual relationship.
While the vow of celibacy and chastity has been practiced for centuries now, it is because of the recent issues about clergy abuse that its rationale is being questioned today. Some people think that the lack of a partner in life that can supply the sexual needs of a person is the main reason why some priests and other members of the church are sexually abusing children. But, is it really a valid argument?
While there may be an angle to validate this claim, the lack of sufficient information and data that connects celibacy with sexual abuse is the main basis why we shouldn’t even believe it. For instance, majority of Protestant clergy are allowed to have families and spouses of their own. But then again, it does not mean that there are no cases of Protestant ministers who are accused or guilty of sexual abuse.
In the case of the United States, only a small percentage of Catholic priests are married. And although there have been an influx of clergy abuse accusations in the past decade, there is really no concrete evidence that says that those who committed them are the ones who are married.
Finally, there is no denying that the church is now a hotbed of child abuse cases. However, one should understand that most if not all of the abuses are actually more about pedophilia and not about being a priest. Whether a priest is married or not, he will still likely abuse a child or minor if he is a pedophile.