What's wrong with the Catholic churches and their priests? Day in and day out, we read in the papers that a particular priest molested some young girls, one Fr sexually abused some 200 deaf boys. Recently there was a news in Chennai, India that a Fr had misbehaved with an young girl somewhere in the USA. And he happily escaped quietly back to Chennai evading the investigation. The Archbishop of Chennai had told the concerned priest to go back to the States, face the inquiry and clear himself or receive the appropriate punishment. The Pope has also been accused of taking a lean view on such cases and nearly closing his eyes to the happenings in various churches.

One needs to go into the root cause of such sexual misdemeanor rather than focusing on particular incidents.

I think the basic trouble lies in the condition that all Catholic priests should be single men. Which Pope had laid down this proviso? The Catholic church claims that Apostle Peter was their first Pope, who was a married man. Somewhere down the line of Popes, some Pope had brought the ‘single person' criterion. Where in the Bible has it been stated that those who do God's work must be bachelors? According to the old Testament, God appointed Prophets to carry His messages through to the people. God never insisted that they be bachelors. Moses, God's most favorite prophet had 4 wives. Coming to the New Testament era, Apostle Paul refused to marry and raise a family all because he felt that he cannot divide his time between the Gospel and the family. He wanted all his time for preaching Jesus Christ's good news. Simultaneously, he had also said that he did not recommend celibacy to all evangelists; if they cannot stick to bachelorship, they must get married. So, by what Biblical authority, did that Pope whoever it was, demand bachelorhood as a pre- requisite to join the priest community in the Catholic system? He is answerable to God for this stringent rule, which is against all norms of life, at the time of judgment. The Protestant church permits its pastors, deacons, bishops and moderators to marry. They also do God's work, don't they?

It is my information that the catholic priests in many African countries have defied this edict from the Vatican and had gone ahead with the marital status. The Pope hadn't been able to prohibit them or punish them for this step.

Will some Pope be bold enough and remove this obligation? That will put a stop to all sexual malpractices.

I had the privilege of teaching the English language in a catholic seminary for some ten years. All my students were school pass outs around the age of 17. They were the future priests around the age of 25 after all kinds of training.. Can young men of this age group, suppress their sexual urge? Isn't it unfair to expect them to do so also? They cannot. It is natural. So, they resort to all kinds of moral depravity. And their immoral behaviour among their congregation makes world news casting aspersions on the character of the Christian community as a whole.

In such a scenario, the Catholic church has two options. One, to permit the priest clan to marry if they wish to. Next, to recruit only persons above the age of sixty, either single or widowers, to become clergymen. Would the current Pope please take a decision and clean up the mess of sexual corruption in the church? Whatever step he takes in this regard would certainly have God's approval and the world would hear no complaints of sexual crimes any more.