“Wonderfully possible”

In the debate about abuse cases in the Catholic Church, the celibate lifestyle of priests is always in focus. Bishop Felix Gmur of Basel now counters it. A life without sexuality is "wonderfully possible".

They could direct sexual feelings in a different direction: "Many are artistically active. Others read a lot, do sports, meditate," Gmur told the Swiss "Sonntagszeitung" newspaper. In response to corresponding questions, the Catholic clergyman replied: "When one hears you like this, one thinks that people have sex all day long."But he knows from many that this is not the case.

No greater risk of becoming an abuser

In his view, celibate people would have no greater risk of becoming abusers. There is "at most the danger that they don't really come to terms with their own identity because they are not challenged by a partner," said Gmur.

When dealing with one's own sexuality, the following applies: "You have to know yourself well and know what attracts you." Part of that is "knowing how to deal with these needs when you can't satisfy them". But that affects all areas of life, not just the world of priests, he said. "If you are extremely fond of chocolate and have to give it up for health reasons, that can also be difficult sometimes," said Bishop.

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