Tune in at 16:00 London, 19:00 UAE

Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Former priest: Clergy should have right to marry

March 29th, 2010
05:36 PM ET

Ed Gerlock has been calling the Philippines his home since he moved there from the United States in 1962 - it was the same year he was ordained.

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/29/ed.jpg
caption="Ed and Ching Gerlock married in 1981."]

The 74-year-old joined the priesthood to initially get an education. It was also a vocation that allowed him to travel overseas.

He spent many years working with the country’s poor and farmers, learning about a life outside the seminary.

It was during this time he met a beautiful Filipino social researcher called Ching. There was an instant attraction, but it was also forbidden. Their friendship grew and so did their love. It took 13 years before Ed would break his vows to the Church and leave the priesthood.

“This lady and I became close friends”, remembers Gerlock. “When I was working in Parish I was thinking to myself… I don’t want to do this for the rest of my life. I genuinely love this lady… in a sense she saved my life”.

They married on May 31, 1981 at a home for leprosy patients in Hawaii. Ching says it was one of the happiest days of her life. Two years later she gave birth to a baby girl they named Alay – which means “a gift”.

Ching says her husband has never turned his back on the church. In fact he still works for those less fortunate and down trodden… caring for the elderly who have no assistance and providing them with services.

She says he may not be able to give mass or wear the cloth of the church, but everywhere they go people still call him Father because of the charitable work he still does.

Their daughter Alay is a guidance counselor. She’s very close to her father and defends his actions 28 years ago. “Most people would say your father took a vow and broke the the vow. But he’s a person, he made a choice and I can’t refute his choice or I wouldn’t be here”.

Gerlock is very progressive and liberal in his views when he talks about the Church and the scandals it’s currently facing. He believes that marriage would be beneficial for priests and that the clergy should at least be given the option of having a marital life.

“When I go to Church and listen to priests talk about reproductive health, marriage and children, I think… what does he know? There are some things in marriage that you would find difficult to talk about and here’s this guy, standing there blandly talking about something he knows nothing about”.

Gerlock doesn’t only believe priests should be married. He also supports gay and women priests; something he knows won’t be happening in the Catholic Church anytime soon. Regardless, he believes reform is essential, if the Church is to repair its battered image.

“It’s going to be a very painful transition I’m afraid”, he admits. “I mean because people are so hard line within the Church. You have to go backwards and say how did this happen – like all the cases of sex abuse that are now coming out. How can we prevent this from ever happening again and what’s our obligation to these children … all those questions are not being address.”

Posted by ,
Filed under:  General
soundoff (45 Responses)

    She is lifted from a letter to the Pope to give pastors right to marriage and other ... change some laws

    March 29, 2010 at 5:51 pm | Reply
  2. Jurgen R. Brul

    Hello CNN friends,

    God sends not Mary the mother of Jesus,
    but three women, including Mary Magdalene,
    to anoint the naked body of Jesus!
    (Source: Bible, Mark 16 verse 1-8)

    Clergy should have right to marry!

    Let us Now Connect to make our world
    a Better Healthier and Beautiful World
    for You and for Me!

    Jurgen R. Brul
    Hometown: Paramaribo
    Country: Suriname

    March 29, 2010 at 7:49 pm | Reply
  3. Maria Rodrigues

    I am very astonished with all this "fuss" with pedophiles. It seems
    that you are taking advantage of all this situation to undermine
    catholic church. This case of pedophilia is very sad of course. That is the image of our presente society. you have contribute for that.
    There is a lot of pedophilia all over the world and in the anglo saxonic countries ...... Why to be hypocrite? with regard to other confessions, the
    priests do not practise pedophilia? Don't take us for fools.
    My deepest sorrow for the victims. But with regard to you intentions....
    All this is a conspiracy in which you are taking part.

    March 29, 2010 at 9:26 pm | Reply
  4. Hugo M.

    We live in a culture where happiness is very well priced. Many times over commitment. No surprise people pay attention to articles like this. this former priest may be a very happy man. Nonetheless, he could not remain faithful to his call to the priesthood. he broke his vow. He willfully petitioned the church to be ordained and then ignored what he had promised.

    The Problem with this article is that is placing priesthood as opposed to Marriage. The church does not intend to say one is better than the other. Marriage is a temporal witness to the truth. the reign of God's love is here present among us, most perfectly in a healthy marriage. Priesthood is an eschatological witness: The reign of God is here and yet to be fulfilled. the priest lives in the hope of the world to come. That means that the priest recognizes the signs of the kingdom present among us as the forerunners of the world to come. There is a spiritual richness is celibacy.

    The word discipline has its root in athletic training. It means pain and improvement. the law of the church regarding celibacy is to encourage celibate vowed members to follow the discipline. if there is no rule there is no discipline. Then, the church (all the baptized) will be deprived of the richness of celibate life which is meant to inspire us all to live a disciplined life in Christ.

    March 29, 2010 at 11:25 pm | Reply
  5. jonnthan okoro

    what is happening is normal it just shows that no matter how men will struggle to set up a holly institution that it can not be without a spot ,it is part of us as humans and the catholic church is just showing the humanness in her institution. one thing i know for sure is that humans can always amend there ways .my advise is that the church should look in ward into there fold and make corrections that will not only satisfy public opinion but will also prevent reoccurance as they are the costodian of christ and as such is under srutiny.the healing of the church will also come more quickly if we leave throwing blame and wasting much effort in denial but going back to the central teaching of christ love for our critics and weak priests and members. every thing is possible and can still exist and the church will still remain pure and fullfill its purpose on earth (preachin the good news of christ death and remission for sin) mariied priest and callibacy together.

    March 29, 2010 at 11:26 pm | Reply
  6. Frank

    Finally, a story about a priest that is positive. I agree completely with his views. The Church needs to change and accept that their requirement of "vows" in a modern world are unrealistic. I believe if they were more flexible, more people would consider a life as a priest or a nun. Vows should be decided by the person. If they want to take them, that is their decision. If not, why can't they still serve their church just like this wonderful man does? I see no difference between this man and a priest. Sadly now, the image of the Church is damaged by priests committing crimes that are much more serious than breaking their vows.

    March 30, 2010 at 2:52 am | Reply
  7. Ella

    Well said and bravo for not only making your choices, but for not giving up on your faith!! Faith comes in all religions, ethnicities and gender and should not be biased. Any priest who says they NEVER thought of marriage or sex or having children, yet can preach about each area is not speaking the truth, but speaking from training...and isn't that merely a form of brainwash? Well said, Mr. Gerlock, well said!! Best of wishes to you and your family. Your daughter must be proud of you and you of her.

    March 30, 2010 at 3:11 am | Reply
  8. Norman Plumbe

    I'm no lawyer but where does the church get the no mariage law from? In the very beginning of the bible it makes the Law regarding Marriage from God very plain and simple.

    Genesis Chapter 1
    24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

    And then in verse 28

    28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

    That bit about being fruitful and multiplying isn't a suggestion, it's a commandment.

    Ah well... my 2 cents

    March 30, 2010 at 3:12 am | Reply
  9. Antointte

    It was already said there: The 74-year-old joined the priesthood to initially get an education. It was also a vocation that allowed him to travel overseas.

    He wasn't in it solely for the vocation.

    People who want changes don't have the 'Grace' of what it is to be a priest. Everyone knows you cannot get married if you're a priest because you'd be distracted by the responsibilities of a married man when you have kids and a wife to support. How could a priest be destined to different areas if he has excess 'baggage' to worry about?

    Get it?

    Not to mention that when they do become a Priest – they are actually married – married to Christ.

    March 30, 2010 at 3:30 am | Reply
  10. Edwin V, MD

    I am a Catholic. I don't agree that marriage should be allowed for catholic priests. The point of celibacy is sacrifice. Not being able to marry to serve the Church is a choice for priests. If they want to get married, they should leave the priesthood. I also don;t believe that majority of priests today wants to give up celibacy in order to marry. I also don't believe that celibacy is a major cause of sexual abuses committed by some clergymen. Even married individuals commit sexual abuses against others.

    March 30, 2010 at 3:40 am | Reply
  11. LF

    I've also known priests who later married after being very active in the parish for years. The ones I knew applied for official release from their vows and followed through with their plans. Of course, this is a personal decision, and I believe each is entitled to make this decision with careful thought. They seem very happy also with a wife and families.

    Honorably seeking release through the traditional channel can lessen the feelings of guilt. On the other hand, I've seen very dedicated priests who take their vows seriously and faithfully follow them for a life time.

    Either way, I respect them in their decisions. I am a non-Roman Catholic myself and am happily married for over 56 years.

    March 30, 2010 at 3:41 am | Reply
  12. Kathleen MacPherson

    When Benedict XVI allowed Anglican and Episcopal priests to enter the Catholic Church as priests and stay married with their wives and children, he allowed the vow of chastity to be waived.

    Priests in the Eastern Rite churches of the Catholic Church allow marriage

    This is the backdoor into a return to the early Church when chastity was not a requirement. Many of the Church councils debated the issue but it did not become permanent until the Council of Trent with Canon 24.

    Insanity is doing things the same way over and over again thinking that you will get different results. The tremendous scandal in the Church will continue until the Church Fathers sit down and redo the Code of Canon Law of 1983. Since the Roman Church recognizes the Eastern Church, implement the Eastern Code of Canon Law.

    One of two things will happen. The scandal will be resolved or the problem will continue with no apparent solution.

    My answer is to have Benedict XVI resign, redo Canon Law to mirror the Eastern Code of Canon Law of 1990, and ordain women as the Anglican Church does.

    I would hate to have the Vatican tell its workers that the last one out should turn off the lights.

    March 30, 2010 at 4:27 am | Reply
  13. glenn

    Mr Gerlcok didn't surpass that simple challenge. If he has the right to do that thing so he has the right also to face the consequence in the FINAL JUDGMENT.

    March 30, 2010 at 4:38 am | Reply
  14. Norman Mina

    Priest should remain celibate. There are more distractions, disturbances or burdens in the married life specially if you have children. Let priests be free from any additional burdens it may bring in the married life. At any rate, isn't it that priests are eternally married to the Church and Jesus Christ?

    March 30, 2010 at 4:42 am | Reply
  15. Mike

    As an Orthodox Christian, the chuch allows priests to marry, but only once. As part of the Orthodox church before 1054, Rome for many centuries didn't require priests to stay single for life. A Matushka (Priest wife) provides much help in a parrish. It is a pity that the Catholics are having such a time, not that these types of scandals are limited to the Catholic Church, but rather, that making such a heavy load on a young idealistic man, (and I'm convinced that most Catholic priests had pure intentions of course at the start). In the type of world we live in, it would be even more important.

    March 30, 2010 at 4:53 am | Reply
  16. Per Nilsson

    Does Jurgen mean that Jesus had 4 wives?

    March 30, 2010 at 5:38 am | Reply
  17. Mark Australia

    The relevance of the Catholic Church into the next century, in my opinion, relies on a relaxation in the vows of celibacy. also, i believe allowing clergy to enjoy the opportunity of a full and 'normal' family life will attract a broader base of compassionate candidates for the priesthood. as well as hopefully reducing the frequency of otherwise socially disconnected clergy into the temptation to abuse their positions...
    at the end of the day, what is possibly wrong with a catholic clergyman enjoying a full and happy family life? in fact, should such life experiences make them all the more effective practitioners of pastoral care for their flocks?

    so many reasons why, so few why not...

    March 30, 2010 at 6:20 am | Reply
  18. Shimaa

    Narrated By Anas bin Malik : A group of three men came to the houses of the wives of the Prophet asking how the Prophet worshipped (Allah), and when they were informed about that, they considered their worship insufficient and said, "Where are we from the Prophet as his past and future sins have been forgiven." Then one of them said, "I will offer the prayer throughout the night forever." The other said, "I will fast throughout the year and will not break my fast." The third said, "I will keep away from the women and will not marry forever." Allah's Apostle came to them and said, "Are you the same people who said so-and-so? By Allah, I am more submissive to Allah and more afraid of Him than you; yet I fast and break my fast, I do sleep and I also marry women. So he who does not follow my tradition in religion, is not from me (not one of my followers)."

    I know that Islam is not well represented this days, basically cause many Muslims deviated from the right path along with other reasons, But take the time to read about the True Islam. Sheikh "Yusuf Estes" has many articles videos, channels and lectures explaining Islam. Just google the name.

    March 30, 2010 at 7:36 am | Reply
  19. T Brown

    This is just a scandal. He made a commitment to celibacy for life and broke it. The Church is not well served by those who are disobedient and disloyal. The kind of change he speaks of is not possible.

    March 30, 2010 at 7:53 am | Reply
  20. Lea

    Yeah, as if marriage were a panacea. Not all sexual perverts are priests, there are quite a few married people in there too. The root of the problem is not celibacy, it is the cover-up of the church which
    only emboldened the sickos, attracted more of the same and finally led to a culture of impunity.

    Like a cancer that must be excised from the body to heal, these perpetrators and their protectors should be expelled from the Church (and answer to civil justice like everybody else). Only then can we start healing.

    March 30, 2010 at 9:15 am | Reply
  21. sandy

    If Jesus himself could adapt and live as a human during his time, I cant see why the Catholic Church cannot adapt according to the existing time.

    March 30, 2010 at 9:27 am | Reply
  22. joe

    March 30th, 2010 7:53 am ET

    This is just a scandal. He made a commitment to celibacy for life and broke it. The Church is not well served by those who are disobedient and disloyal. The kind of change he speaks of is not possible.

    You're a blind fool. I pray for you

    March 30, 2010 at 11:34 am | Reply
  23. Mary Smith

    Married priests will cost the Catholic Church much more than single priests do. The Church will suddenly have to provide housing for married priests, increased salaries to cover the cost of supporting wives and education and healthcare for children.

    Also do not underestimate the misogyny of the Church leaders.

    The solution lies in the Bible: Matthew 19:12 and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

    March 30, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Reply
  24. John Shuster

    The married priesthood is the original and traditional priesthood of the Roman Catholic Church. Our predominantly gay and sexually active clergy is happy to promote celibacy because it allows them to maintain their furtive and well-funded double lives. The married priesthood is the safe and effective alternative, but today's clergy will never let that happen. They are having too much fun at the expense of their spiritually addicted and codependent adherents. That's not good for anybody, but it continues to go on, and our children continue to be vulnerable to this secrecy laden mess.

    March 30, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Reply
  25. joan


    March 30, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Reply
  26. Benjamin

    This question isn't about "rights." Religious practices outline a spiritual path– a person should follow the best practices to achieve spiritual goals.

    One camp says that any material or "animal" desires basically chain us to the earth. Which is fine.

    However, if one's goal is to achieve a higher state of living, then he/she has to cut those chains.

    However, lots of great music teachers are not the best musicians. I don't think a priest has to be celibate to understand and teach the spiritual benefits of celibacy, either.

    March 30, 2010 at 3:53 pm | Reply
  27. Peter

    I am currently a priest, and I favor the discipline of celibacy. So I guess we are even.

    The typical trend in these non-stories is to find everyone who's ever disagreed with some Church teaching or other and give him an article, while ignoring the literally millions of Catholics who faithfully live out their vocation to love God and neighbor quietly and piously. How about this for fair coverage: for every negative story about the Church on this website right now, a comparable article on faithful Catholics living sacrificial lives of service of God and neighbor?

    God's peace to you all.

    March 30, 2010 at 9:42 pm | Reply
  28. A. Smith, Oregon

    Just when you thought the Pope couldn't slink any lower!

    In court documents this Tuesday, the Pope's attorneys are filing a defense in their callous attempt to prevent Pope Ratz from being questioned under oath what he knew about serial pedophile clerics who raped and sodomized hundreds of children in the care of the church.

    Pope Ratz's defense team has issued three elements of defense in a ongoing child rape case in Kentucky in Pope Ratz's attempts to avoid being questioned under oath about what he knew and what he did about serial child pedophiles in the Vatican and in parishes around the world.

    1) Claiming Pope Ratz is immune from criminal charges as head of state, although that certainly didn't protect Manual Noriega former president of Panama on far lesser crimes.

    2) The ridiculous claim that Pope Ratz is not the boss of those serial pedophile clerics and clerics of the church are not employees of the Vatican. This is apparently a clear attempt to dodge monetary settlements against Pope Ratz and the Vatican itself.

    3) A claim attempting to dispute that a 1962 Vatican document obtained by a Oregon attorney representing hundreds of children raped in Oregon by Vatican clergy which appears to clearly describe the direct role of the Vatican knowing and moving pedophiles to other unsuspecting parishes where the pedophiles committed multiple new cases of rape, sodomy and sexual abuse on new child victims.

    Three men claiming they were abused by priests brought the suit against the Holy See in 2004, accusing Rome of negligence in failing to alert police or the public about priests who molested children in Kentucky.

    The preview of the legal defense, provided to the AP by a person familiar with the case, was submitted last month in the U.S. District Court in Louisville. Vatican officials declined to comment.

    The case is significant because it's the first among a handful of cases targeting Rome in the United States to reach the stage of determining whether the victims actually have a claim against the Vatican itself.

    Previous cases attempting to implicate the Vatican have failed or are pending at more preliminary stages.

    In the Kentucky suit, the men argued that U.S. diocesan bishops were employees of the Holy See, and that Rome was therefore responsible for their alleged wrongdoing in failing to report abuse.

    They charged that a 1962 Vatican document mandated that bishops not report sex abuse cases to police. The Vatican has argued that there is nothing in the document that precluded bishops from reporting pedophiles to police.

    March 30, 2010 at 9:45 pm | Reply
  29. David E.

    It's difficult to accept the behaviors of those so called religious people and at the same time to believe that some people can take sides in defending criminals that have no place to be but prisons. What's disgusting about all of this is not only the children that had been victimized, and that's a serious matter, but the adults that have been poisoned for the rest of their lives and will bring their own children to become victims as well.

    March 30, 2010 at 11:32 pm | Reply
  30. Tony

    @Norman Plumbe: "where does the church get the no mariage law from?"

    The church teaches that the sacraments of marriage and holy orders are mutually exclusive because both of them require a complete commitment of self.

    In marriage, a man is completely committing himself to his wife and making a lifelong vow to be faithful to her.

    In holy orders, a man is completely committing himself to the church and making a lifelong vow to be faithful to it.

    It's impossible to commit yourself 100% to two different things.

    March 31, 2010 at 1:58 am | Reply
  31. Clara

    Martin Luther told of us about this over 500 years ago. It is not natural for a man to live a celibate life. He advised the church to give them the choice: you can choose to live without a woman, or choose to have a family. You can serve the church either way. My father was a Lutheran missionary, and served the church with all his soul, his time time, and was an example to the family. His wife and 4 children miss him terribly after his passing, but the congregations he established keep growing and serving the community as he has taught them to. Do not underestimate God's power, he can do His work no matter if His servants are married or not, I do not understand why the celibate issue is such a big deal. Do you believe in God's power or not?

    March 31, 2010 at 1:58 am | Reply
  32. A. Smith, Oregon

    Catholics look to Pope Ratz as the apostolic succession of Jesus Christ. They bow to Pope Ratz, kiss his hands, kiss his huge golden elaborate rings and pray to him as God in the flesh.

    Pope Ratz ordered his Church Parishes in America to file Bankruptcy rather than Pay the US COURT ORDERED monetary settlements to the thousands of children the Vatican clergy raped and sodomized.

    Does that sound like a decent man, much less anyone with ethical and moralistic standards YOU admire?

    The order to bypass US Court ordered monetary settlements is a cold hearted and utterly disgusting signal that Pope Ratz does not care one iota about the thousands of sexually abused children and he cares completely about the Vatican's wealth and plunder.

    I can think of NO WORSE example of a religious leader.

    Pope Ratz is a utterly disgusting religious father-head who has not even a grain of the spirit of Jesus Christ running in his body.

    Pope Ratz should RESIGN

    The Vatican should be sued back to the Dark Ages and shunned by the civilized world.

    March 31, 2010 at 3:54 am | Reply
  33. Lydia

    How many Catholics read the bible? I've never been to a Catholic church (I'm Christian) so I really don't know (please excuse my ignorance on that matter) but, if you do read the bible it does say that it is better to marry than to burn with lust (1 Corinthians 7:9 if you want to check).

    With all the reports (being of a sexual nature against innocents) coming out regarding the priests over the years.... I mean... wouldn't you think that they are burning with lust? Or do you think this is all some HUGE coincidence that they are ending up in priesthood?

    In my opinion, this is not a club. It doesn't say anywhere in the Bible about priests not being allowed to marry.

    The Catholic church needs to get serious. They are not keeping their eyes on the prize (the hurt, the lost, the people that desire to get closer to God).

    To the readers that stand on the current doctrine.... are you going to be okay when/if they revise it to allow priests the option to marry?

    Or will your "they broke the rules" stance remain?

    – Pondering non-denomination Christian

    March 31, 2010 at 4:10 am | Reply
  34. Jackson

    Yes priests should marry. The ones in my estate hold parties every weekend and yes the women flock in in droves. Then the chat begins and the truth comes out. Lets not fool ourselves. The pope is scratching his head all night with molest reports. Its is not good for man to live alone, you know!

    March 31, 2010 at 5:43 am | Reply
  35. Sankarshan das Adhikari

    In the Hare Krishna movement one can be a priest either as a married man or a single man. Priestly ordination is also given to women.

    March 31, 2010 at 6:47 am | Reply
  36. Jason

    The question is "Why is celibacy required?" As has been commented, remaining unmarried allows a person to focus more on sacred service than being married. Both Jesus and the apostle Paul recommended singleness for that reason.

    But christians who desire to serve as overseers are not commanded anywhere in the New Testament to remain celibate. In fact, we find just the opposite. In 1 Timothy 3, among the qualifications listed for a christian overseer, we find in verse 2 that the overseer should be "a husband of one wife," and in verse 4 that the overseer should be "presiding over his household in a fine manner, having children in subjection." So if an overseer is married, he must not be a polygamist. And if he has children, he must treat them well and they must conduct themselves as having been taught the christian way by their parents.
    Finally, in 1 Timothy 4:1-4, we're told that forbidding marriage is linked to those who have fallen away from the faith (apostatized) and have been misled. This is a restriction that God has never placed upon us and will not do it. If God has not placed such a restriction on us, why should we add to the burdens of others by requiring something unnecessary? We should neither add to or take away commands and restrictions in the Bible. Cling to tradition or cling to God's commands? You can't do both.

    March 31, 2010 at 8:54 am | Reply
  37. Ed Gerlock

    I very much appreciate the comments–both positive and negative and can relate to them both from my present and past life. Just one additional note–when i was in a town in Mindanao as a priest, there were also Baptists and Muslims in the community. We got along–but it was clear we were distinct. When I was in the military stockade during martial law (for thinking that poor farmers should have some say in the their lives) we were Catholics, Baptists and Muslims–and the ones persecuting us were Catholics, Baptists and Muslims. In the jail, we were one–not divided by belief but commitment. Celibacy is not the issue but commitment is–and if celibacy adds to commitment one might choose it but the latin american theologians are correct–its not an issue of orthodoxy but orthopraxis–peace

    March 31, 2010 at 10:03 am | Reply
  38. Lydia

    Mr. Gerlock, I applaud your choice. It's very nice to see a positive story about a priest (although former). If they change the doctrine, I hope you'll be accepted back into the fold. Despite that, it seems you've done great works in your life and continue to do so. God doesn't love you any less and you've made a positive impact in peoples lives. God bless you and your beautiful wife!

    March 31, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Reply
  39. Qaisar hasan Lahore

    Hello Mr. Gerlock,

    Equal rights means same opportunities for all, How come Almighty forbade & drove away chance of satisfying needs that he himself created.

    These are requirements for life & there is nothing wrong in getting benefited in a legal – prescribed way……

    it would not be Justice if any one is deprived of or enforced to keep away from permissible acts just to become more sacred / closer to the creater ...it would absolutely not be justice (not at all…..)

    these self created / man made restrictions are not legitimate & Almighty would not rank higher any one due to following the same……..

    And if it is not understood Pope Ratz should be considered as WORSE example.


    March 31, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Reply
  40. Jackson

    Thanks you all for your views. Personally the arguments for and against celibacy are both Strong. But lets appreciate the fact that there are two issues here. Whether priests should marry or not and whether their celibacy is leading them to engage in pedophilia.

    The other thing is whether some priests have actually been sexually molesting boys. If they really did it and the church is denying it then in God's eyes the affected church leadership is full of lairs.

    I wish there was some scientific way of proving or disapproving the sex abuse cases. I say this because the truth is currently between the "alleged victims and accused" as one John Lerrato would say. "Only" them know the truth in the eyes of the public at the moment. We can only choose to believe each party depending on their arguments. Here's where legendary lawyers make ground i guess; no pun intended.

    It's sad, in this case, that the church is involved in such a weighty accusation. They are caught in their own web i could say. It's time they sat in the confession box-or room is it-and let truth be known. It's sad that the Pope is being dragged into this too. Personally he should have dealt this issue the blow it deserves the very minute he heard of it. No priest should have been allowed to portray the church in bad light.

    Anyway I like the ways it's going now; for its just a matter of time before the truth is revealed. And I pray that the Almighty supports and empowers the holders of the truth that they will win and bring this matter to and end

    As for the marriage issue. Every storm eventually settles. I believe the solutions are basically right before us; maybe the truth is still momentarily hidden. Maybe that's why we have this back and forth arguments.

    Maybe the conclusion (going forward) will be that if one can't take the heat, then they ought to stay out of the kitchen in the first place. And if you do get in there, please keep on the straight and narrow. Or let's modify the kitchen then to accommodate all types of cooks.

    We can huff and puff but eventually we will get a conclusion, whether now or much much later

    April 1, 2010 at 6:31 am | Reply
  41. ssdin

    If prophets can get married and lead a normal life, I can't see why priest can't get married. Are they better than the prophets?

    April 3, 2010 at 5:08 am | Reply
  42. jim

    no a priest shold not at all have the right to marry. a priest as well as nuns take a vow. all know what they want to do from the very beginning. you cannot change all of a sudden. if true to your values if true to your vocation then no marriage, is you have doubts then you have no true vocation.

    April 3, 2010 at 6:32 am | Reply
  43. Nathan

    "Gerlock is very progressive and liberal in his views when he talks about the Church and the scandals it’s currently facing. He believes that marriage would be beneficial for priests and that the clergy should at least be given the option of having a marital life" – Could you kindly explain progressive and liberal? Are you suggesting Those that believe otherwise are what, retrogressive? or is it backward? not living in the times. Its ironic that you guys in the media invent terms that are vague and meaningless. For instance you are refering to the scandals in the catholic church as issues with the church which is general implying that church folk that believe otherwise (that priests should not marry) are not progressive. Abuse of children is unacceptable in any form, church or otherwise so do not label the "church" the retrogressive for doing what it rightfully believes and is scriptural -the vow of celibacy. Priests make a willing choice to take the vow of celibacy just like paedofiles on the streets or in the high posh offices choose to lead seemingly normal lives while abusing children. Shall we conclude that society is retrogressive because we have paedofiles in our midst,I dont think so. The point is not the church but the idividuals behind not even the institution of priesthood for that matter. Father Gerlock is still serving by his own choice with a wife.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:51 pm | Reply
  44. Jackson

    To properly get to the bottom of this matter, I wish some independent being could show us the real statistics. We cannot make a valid conclusion with hearsay or suspicions.

    If we could secret admissions and confessions, then we could at least get to the hard facts. It's human nature to deny or portray moral uprightness. Yes, everyone praises the bridge that carries him over; in this case every man will defend every habit that keeps him/her going.

    It's just like in court. It doesn't matter whether you're guilty or not. What matters is the evidence, and the arguments. You could be as guilty as the devil but escape prosecution due to lack of evidence or some fatal error by the prosecution....

    April 7, 2010 at 4:48 am | Reply
  45. Cora Ilustre McKeown

    I met Ed Gerlock when I was teaching in Davao, Philippines after graduating from college. The commitment and dedication of Ed Gerlock and the rest of the Maryknoll priests affected the lives of so many Filipinos and set an example for what a true Christian should be-compassionate, tolerant and generous. I congratulate him on his marriage and his commitment to his faith is no less strong for it.

    March 3, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Reply

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.