1. Let it be known that the Church is presently not considering anything as regards the removal of the law of celibacy from the Catholic priesthood. The present noise surrounding that is the wishful thinking of some people and a deliberate misrepresentation of the words of the incoming Secretary of the Vatican State.
2. Priestly celibacy has been objected to for many reasons both insofar as it is an ideal for the priest to live by and as it is a law imposed by the Church. Those who argue against the celibacy as law do so in the name of the gospel: Jesus called married men for the sake of the gospel, promulgated no precepts, posited no necessary connection between priesthood and celibacy. It has been criticized for practical reasons as well as ecumenical reasons. It has also been criticized as a denial of freedom.
I do not wish to bore you with a detailed discussion of these criticism but would just like to say that the law of celibacy in the Catholic priesthood does not take away freedom. Anyone who commits himself to the priestly ministry in the Catholic Church does so by an act of freedom. One of the questions directed to the candidate(s) at ordination clearly indicates this fact.
3. What most people have not really put into consideration is the way in which Jesus Christ willed that his priests should live. This is the basic issue in the whole debate: the will of Christ as manifested in the gospel. Thus, the link between priesthood and celibacy was established first in Christ himself. The indisputable fact of the celibacy of Christ shows that, in its most perfect realization, the priesthood entails the renunciation of marriage. Celibacy pertains to the mystery of the Incarnation. If we consider God's dispensation, we discover that the mission of Christ makes celibacy appropriate. The incarnate Word came to bring God close to mankind and to reveal God's love for all men. Had he chosen to marry, he would have ushered into his life a particular love which would have concealed and hampered his universal love. His predilection for one woman would have put a distance between him and other women. Because he had no children of his own, he was able to love all the little children with a heart totally open, without preference. Thanks to celibacy, Jesus was able to enjoy the greatest closeness to every man, woman, and child. He was in a position to be the man for all.
Courtesy: Alfred Okakpu Chukwuemeka (Fr.)