I've had many conversations about priestly celibacy. There are many who denounce celibacy, including many Catholics. Jesus addresses this in today's Gospel reading from Matthew 19.
"Not all can accept this word, but only those to whom that is granted. Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it."
It is clear that those who denounce priestly celibacy as some sort of evil cannot accept these words of Jesus. Some say celibacy is the cause of the priest sex abuse scandal. That's balderdash. Others say it's wicked because priests are "forced" into celibacy. Also balderdash. During many years of formation and discernment before ordination, every man knows exactly what he's getting into. No one is "forced" to be a priest. It is a calling from God, and celibacy is a gift that is freely accepted. You may not be celibate, but can you at least accept the words of Jesus that some are called to that state?
Father, we thank you for calling those who renounce marriage for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven. May we love and support them, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
You'll find a chapter on Priestly Celibacy in A Minute in the Church. Get the entire five volume set for just $20 today at www.GusLloyd.com.