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letters | why can’t we talk about celibacy?

Double standard on married priests

I’M A BIT confused about the Archdiocese of Boston’s refusal to allow the Rev. Helmut Schuller to speak about optional celibacy on church property, forcing organizers to move the event to another location (“O’Malley bars talk by priest over views,” Page A1, June 25). A number of married Catholic priests are quite legally ensconced in the Archdiocese, some because Cardinal Law worked his little zucchetto off to recruit dissatisfied Anglican priests into the Catholic Church. For example, there is Father Richard Bradford, former rector of the Ralph Adams Cram Episcopal Church in Ashmont. Bradford, ironically enough, disagreed strongly enough with the ordaining of women to the episcopacy that he jumped the proverbial Tiber, along with his wife, three children, and half of his congregation, to become Catholic.

My confusion is about whether I would be allowed to continue preaching if I happen to meet Bradford on the street, and speak encouragingly to him. Am I allowed to send him and his family Christmas and Easter cards? Can I mention him positively in my bulletin column or in a sermon? How about Father Bradford himself? Can he admit that he is happy as a Catholic priest? And what if the Voice of the Faithful, the liberal Catholic activist group that helped organize Schuller’s visit, shares his joy?

The Rev. William
H. McLaughlin

Immaculate
Conception Church

Newburyport

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