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Michel Grandjean: “The marriage of priests will not solve everything”

Sexuality within the Catholic clergy never ceases to arouse controversy, between suspicions of abuse and revelations of hidden relationships. Latest example at the bishopric of Friborg where the successor of Father Frochaux, himself suspended following accusations of sexual harassment and pedophilia, has proved to be a follower of gay dating sites. Enough to undermine the credibility of the Church, already undermined by an erosion of its faithful, but also to raise the question of the celibacy of priests. Professor at the Faculty of Theology of the University of Geneva, the historian of Christianity Michel Grandjean analyzes the origins of this requirement imposed on those who dedicate their lives to God.

Le Temps: Does the Roman Catholic Church Have a Problem with Sexuality?
Michel Grandjean: Care should be taken not to generalize or draw hasty conclusions from individual cases. It is also advisable to avoid the amalgamations between pedophilia and sexuality or homosexuality. They are two very different things. Likewise, problems related to sexuality among the clergy do not result solely from the lack of marriage. If marriage prevented any sexual deviance, it would be known. There is, however, one certainty: the requirement of chastity imposed on priests has never been absolutely respected. Since its birth, the Church has turned a blind eye to slippages and mishaps.

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