Happily, From the Depths of Our Hearts, by Benedict XVI and Cardinal Robert Sarah, serves our obligation to honesty and clarity exceptionally well in any discussions of a married priesthood.
“In the common awareness of Israel, priests were strictly obliged to observe sexual abstinence during the times when they led worship and were therefore in contact with the divine mystery. . . . Given that the priests of the Old Testament had to dedicate themselves to worship only during set times, marriage and the priesthood were compatible.
“But because of the regular and often daily celebration of the Eucharist, the situation of the priests of the Church of Jesus Christ has changed radically. From now on their entire life is in contact with the divine mystery. This requires on their part exclusivity with regard to God. Consequently this excludes other ties which, like marriage, involve one’s whole life….”
Read the entire Jan. 15 article by Francis X. Maier in First Things.