So many of my congregation are celibate, some temporarily, in the sense of they are not yet married, others because of their sexual orientation or because of the breakdown of their marriages are bound like me to permanent celibacy. This is obviously the case too in those who have been widowed later in life. It is important that priests today rejoice in the lifestyle they have chosen for the glory of God and are able to speak coherently about the trials and joys of it, but more importantly that they live it well, not in the sense of being crabby old bachelors but as men who rejoice in the availability that celibacy gives.
Liberal bishops and priests so often suggest that they have chosen priesthood and have been forced to accept celibacy as part of the package, this is odd, because any important choice has ramifications for the rest of one's life. Cakes can not be had and eaten at the same time. Sally cannot be slept with if one is married to Mary and if one is head over heals in love with God nothing is preferable to Him, this is the great sign of priestly celibacy.
The Christian understanding of human sexuality is that it should be controlled and is controllable, through the love of God.
Maybe this intervention by Hummes might encourage ideas along the line of the priest being married to the Church; female religious being the brides of Christ, all ancient ideas and all very fruitful, and all very unfashionable in certain quarters.
Cardinal Hummes reviewed what he said was strong evidence that priestly celibacy has its roots in apostolic times, not later centuries. The cardinal said celibacy represents "a more full configuration with the Lord Jesus," who lived his own life as a celibate, and is a sign of the total love priests give to the church. For all priests, he said, celibacy should be a call to happiness and not a burden of suffering. Cardinal Hummes said celibacy is also a sign of pastoral charity. "Common experience confirms that it is easier to open one's heart to one's brothers fully and without reserve for those who have no other emotional attachments, no matter how legitimate and holy, except the attachment to Christ," he said.