The Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse recently concluded a study confirming widespread sexual abuse of children in Roman Catholic institutions. Here are some blood boiling quotes:
“Of the survivors who reported being abused in a religious institution, 61.4% said it occurred in a Catholic organization.”
“In February 2017, the commission revealed 7% of Australian Catholic priests had been accused of abusing children inside religious institutions. In some orders, more than 40% of brothers were implicated.”
“Allegations of sexual abuse in the Catholic church stretch across multiple countries with large Catholic populations, including Austria, Brazil, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and perhaps most famously, the United States, where children accused more than 4,000 priests of sexual abuse between 1950 and 2002, according to a report compiled by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.”
The Commission made some recommendations to the Catholic Church, including that they end mandatory celibacy for priests.
The mandatory celibacy of priests is just one example of how the Roman Catholic Church rejects Biblical truth for unbiblical traditions and taboos. The Bible nowhere forbids pastors from being married and having children. On the contrary, Paul expected pastors to be family men:
Do we not have a right to take along a believing wife, even as the rest of the apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas? (1 Cor 9:5).
For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed you, namely, if any man is above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion… (Titus 1:5-6).
A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach (1 Tim 3:2 KJV).
Do you see that Paul allowed for married pastors?
Can you see, then, that mandatory celibacy is not from God? (But if it doesn’t come from God, then who?)
Another of the Commission’s recommendations concerned the “seal of secrecy” during confession. If someone confesses to molesting a child to a priest, that becomes a secret the priest cannot disclose. Keeping sexual molestation a secret allowed it to continue.
Of course, the whole idea of having to confess your sins to a priest is another unbiblical practice. It is a rejection of the truths that Jesus is the only mediator between God and man (1 Tim 2:5) and that you can confess your sins directly to God and be forgiven (1 John 1:9). No Roman Catholic priests are required.
The lesson is: when we reject God’s Word for something else, bad consequences follow.
The Australian Commission recommended that Catholics reject mandatory celibacy to avoid sexual abuse. I would encourage readers to reject it to avoid spiritual abuse, too.