Two Catholic priests suspended after publishing a book on celibacy

The book also comments on sexual abuse within the Church.

Michal Lajcha serves a mass in a church in Kľak.Michal Lajcha serves a mass in a church in Kľak. (Source: AP/TASR)

Should Catholic priests be allowed to have a wife and a family? Two Slovak priests argue in their book that celibacy should be voluntary. They ended up suspended from their functions.

The suspension came for both authors of the book, The Tragedy of Celibacy - Dead Wife, Michal Lajcha and Peter Luciano Baláž, after the book was published. In the book, they branded celibacy the wound of the Catholic Church that has been festering for eight centuries.

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“The Church doesn’t ordain married men,” said Michal Lajcha, one of the authors of the book, as quoted by the public-service RTVS. “Our book doesn’t fight against celibacy, but for enabling married man to be ordained. This, in fact, means voluntary celibacy.”

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Read also: Bishop denies misconduct allegations Read more 

At the same time, the authors are critical of the sex abuse scandals in the Catholic Church, saying that celibacy is one of the reasons behind them. The discussion about celibacy and the subsequent reaction of the Catholic Church came around the same time as the latest report about sexual abuse in the Catholic Church was published in Germany by Cardinal Reinhard Marx.

Priests want to continue

Lajcha, who served in the central Slovak villages of Kľak, Ostrý Grúň and Hrabičov, did not look like your typical Catholic priest.

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