I thought Fr. Sullins acquitted himself very well. And I was pleased the host actually attempted to deal with the question of “Why is this here in the first place?” He hit, I thought, the right notes in terms of doing due diligence with the NT text (particularly Jesus “eunuch for the kingdom of heaven” remark.) I of course had a lot more to say than I had time for (Wicked tempting question: Why do organs like HuffPo never have roundtables on the issue, ”Has the time come for the Episcopal communion to reinstitute mandatory celibacy?”).
I wish we could have touched on the “O’Brien resignation leads naturally to questioning celibacy” opener. My reply is three words: “Mary Kay LaTourneau“. The weird superstition that a male celibate priesthood leads to sexual abuse is countered by the huge amount of sexual abuse in public schools. O that woman could be teachers! O that teachers could marry!
I was glad we were able to get past Fr. Cutie’s stuff about this being purely about medieval property rights and root it in NT revelation a bit. (Also, I loved the host calling him on the ridiculous “vow vs. promise” distinction.) I wish I could have asked, “So who pays for a living wage and benefits for Father and family at St. Impecunious parish, where 1/3 of tyhe parish tithes their dollar in the plate each week?
I was surprised that Dr. Manson perceived this as a) sinister “conservatives” agreeing to waive celibacy (all Fr. Sullins and I really did was point out that it is not universal and only a discipline, not assert that it should be abolished) and b) that she somehow formed the conclusion that this was some grand scheme to beef up Catholic ranks with renegade married Episcopalian priests in order to keep out women and homosexuals. I had no idea I was so devious.
Anyway, as my encounters with secular media always are, this was far too brief a chance to have anything like a really sound discussion and it was scattershot and confusing for most viewers I’d reckon. But I did the best I could. Thanks for your prayers! And thanks to HuffPo for having me on.
UPDATE: If you want to watch it, it’s here.