Bishop Accountability
  Text of the Letter

Reprinted in Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
August 18, 2003

The Most Reverend Wilton D. Gregory
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
3211 4th St. N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20017-1194
Aug. 16, 2003

Dear Bishop Gregory,

We are priests of the Milwaukee presbyterate.

We join our voices to those of so many others at this time . . . voices urging that diocesan priest now be open to married men as well as to celibate men.

Put otherwise, we urge that from now on celibacy be optional, not mandatory, for candidates for the diocesan Roman Catholic priesthood.

We remain so grateful for the blessing that celibacy has been for so many priests over the years. We remain aware that - great charism that it is - some future priests will continue to choose celibacy.

The primary motive for our urging this change is our pastoral concern that the Catholic Church needs more candidates for the priesthood, so that the Church's sacramental life might continue to flourish.

We speak out at this time also because of the ever growing appreciation of marriage and its many blessings so compatible with priesthood and even enhancing of priestly ministry.

Sincerely in the Spirit of Christ Jesus,

Signed by 163 priests in the archdiocese


Original material copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.