Archive for May, 2008

On Sacrifice (specifically Celibacy for Priests)

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

I know someone who is considering becoming a Catholic Priest. I don’t think it’s a good idea, mainly because of the celibacy-for-life aspect. So here are…

…SOME THOUGHTS ON SACRIFICE (Specifically Celibacy):

I think that celibacy for life is an extreme sacrifice. I think that there are things that are worthy of extreme sacrifices, and therefore extreme sacrifices can be very good and noble things to do. But…

I think that an extreme sacrifice is not worthwhile unless it results in an extreme benefit. On a 1 to 10 scale, with 1 being modest (non-extreme) and 10 being extreme, a level 10 sacrifice should result in a level 10 benefit. For example, it would be a noble act to jump in front of a bullet to prevent the bullet from killing someone else. But it would be a bad idea to jump in front of a bullet to prevent a broken window.

One probably obvious stipulation is that not only must an extreme benefit exist, but in order for the sacrifice to be worthwhile, the benefit must actually be the result (very preferably the DIRECT and quantifiable result) of the sacrifice. For example, curing everyone in Africa of AIDS might qualify as a level 10 benefit, but that doesn’t mean I should try to jump in front of a random bullet, because jumping in front of a bullet has no bearing on whether the Africans get cured of aids.

In the case of priests, I can’t see any equally extreme benefit resulting from their celibacy. Can you?