Well, fact is child sexual predators are indeed attracted to the ministry (as are some other disturbing populations). One of the reasons psychological counseling is so extensive in order to enter the ministry is to try and screen for inappropriate personality types. But IMHO, I think churches in general don't do enough to screen for sexual predators. I think that's been a real lack in the screening process when it's a known issue. So there's a lot of accountability on the part of churches as a whole on that issue that's been lacking (both with improper screening as well as not taking sexual abuse seriously when it later arises). Bek--the one thing I would say is while I understand all the points you are making (and now from a seminary POV the basis for them all), I think in real life most folk just aren't very concerned with the distinctions between doctrine and dogma. Yes, hard-core theologians care about doctrines re: creatio ex nihilo and the like, but most parishioners don't. So when people talk about the Church changing, they are invariably talking about dogma. Yes, that properly understood wouldn't be termed changing orthodoxy, but colloquially people equate orthodoxy with particular church *practices*. And the forcefulness and rigidity with which certain Church practices are defended and promoted are frequently interpreted as examples of Church orthodoxy. I think in this discussion, it's probably best to stick to issues of dogma and particular Church practices as I think that's the really the topic of debate. YMMV of course. WRT Church celibacy, I think one aspect that has only been alluded to so far (by allezfred) is that Catholic clergy is overwhelmingly gay compared to society as a whole. I think the more reliable surveys done have shown 30-50 of Catholic clergy are gay, but people I've spoken to in charge of seminaries say that's an underestimate, and they've put the numbers as high as 80%. I tend to think it's perhaps more around the 60% mark, but in any case it's a very high percentage considering gay men constitute only 1-2% of the population at large. For those interested, Andrew Sullivan did a series on how Catholic policies on priestly celibacy have selected for gay clergy over the years, and how homophobia within the Church has lead dysfunctional sexual practices by those clergy members. Fact is, gay priests have carried on relationships with other men fairly openly for time immemorial. And when young boys confessed to having same-sex attractions, they were expressly funneled into the ministry as that was the socially acceptable way for gay men to function in society. So having married priests might open the door to more heterosexuals entering the ministry. And considering the high percentage of heterosexuals in society at large, that might address some clergy-shortage issues.