“Intimacy must become a topic of formation”

Religious woman with a collar shirt © Cristian Gennari (CBA)

View from another direction: The obligation to celibacy for priests in the Catholic Church is "at least problematic," according to Osnabruck professor of psychiatry Wolfgang Weig." He would like to see a more compatible solution.

He said in an interview with the Evangelischer Pressedienst (epd). Many priests have an unresolved relationship with their sexuality, sensuality and women. The Catholic specialist and sex therapist was a guest at the Catholic Atrium Church in Bremen on Thursday evening.

Taboo leads to uncertainty

One reason for this, he said, is the taboo surrounding these ies. On the one hand, it leads to uncertainty, on the other hand, it arouses curiosity.

If a priest then falls head over heels in love, he faces a problem: "These men are not prepared for that," Weig said. He has collaborated on many publications on intimacy and sexuality among Catholic priests in Germany.

A priest could then only under great psychological prere in secret with the burden of the forbidden love or leave the ministry. At present, he said, no one who publicly professes his love is allowed to continue as a priest.

The expert advised the church to admit only those men to the priesthood who had reached personal maturity and had come to terms with the ie. "Sexuality and intimacy must become a topic in formation."In the Catholic Church, there are now people who are thinking about solutions other than the absolute renunciation of sexuality and partnership. "Something is happening – but not enough yet."

Council to an intensive counseling

Weig advised those affected to seek intensive counseling. Priests who decide to leave must be supported by the church, said Weig. Other civil professions would have to be found for them, including with the church.

However, celibacy is not solely responsible for the numerous cases of abuse in the Catholic Church, Weig emphasized. Among Protestant pastors, who are allowed to marry, there are also men who become perpetrators.

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