A man who wears a gold dress warns priests they should support whatever he says without question.
There were no laws about clerical celibacy until the 12th century, when church officials drew up such restrictions – mostly because they were worried about the legal claims of priests’ bastard children. If the church was wrong before they made those rules, who’s to say they’re not wrong now?
One of my aunts was complaining about women wanting to be priests. “Jesus only picked men to be apostles,” she told me. “Well, Aunt Aggie, if you really want to be accurate, Jesus only picked Jews to be apostles. So maybe you should have to be a Jew to be a priest.” She was speechless.
Aunt Aggie’s dead now, and soon the rest of the people who think like her will be gone, too. So if Benedict wants a smaller, purer church, he’s going to get one.