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The Mandatory Celibacy Law in the Catholic Church. We Request the Right to Vote at the Synod. We need the help of the population to abolish the mandatory celibacy in the Catholic Church. It can not be said that the mandatory celibacy law is out-dated since it shouldn't have existed in the first place, especially in our civilized day. It is an inhuman and cruel law that affects not only the Catholic priests who desire a family life but also people from society. The women who are in love with priests and children who are born from this relationship are directly impacted by it. The consequences are devastating, and the lives of thousands of people are destroyed in many ways. The Church is deprived as Married priesthood should bring about a change in the teaching of the church especially the one dealing with sexuality. The current priests don’t have a realistic understanding of family life and can’t be qualified to give adequate advice to their parishioners. One of the most serious impacts of mandatory celibacy is that women and priests most often will suffer from depression, PTSD, emotional distress, isolation, fear, guilt, suicidal tendencies and in some rare cases suicide was committed. To add to this, they must live in secrecy, they can’t share their happiness with their family or their community because they will be rejected, condemned and judged. The women will be intimidated and harassed, and their reputation destroyed. As for the children, they can’t have an open and loving relationship with their father. They can’t have a legitimate right to emotional and financial stability because of the challenges single parents face. They must either remain silent or lie about their father’s identity. Often a priest will deny his paternity to avoid problems with the clergy. Furthermore, the love and the relationship between the priest and the woman will not be validated and supported by his superiors. If the relationship is discovered, the clergy will quickly take action on imposing severe restrictions. The priest will be reminded or reproached about his vow of obedience and will have to terminate the relationship immediately. The clergy will not involve, inform, or consult the woman about their decision. In addition, they will not support nor validate how the woman and the children are coping. Their pain and suffering are completely disregarded. If the woman tries to keep contact and corresponds via mail, email, phone or social media, all her correspondence will be intercepted, and the privacy of her correspondence will be violated by the priest’s superior. This is a part of the restrictions that are inflicted upon the priest’s and their lovers, in many cases, they are even separated by the superiors through constant transfers of these priests to different parishes. In consequence of these types of restrictions, both the women and the priest along with the potential children involved are impacted and afflicted by the mandatory celibacy law, which violates many articles of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. • Article 1. “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” • Article 2. “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.” • Article 5. “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” • Article 12. “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honor and reputation.” • Article 16. in Section 1 and 3 “Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to find a family (…) 3, The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and it is entitled to protection by society and by the state.” • Article 19. “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.” The abolition of mandatory celibacy would have great benefits for society and for the church, because of the following factors: • There will be a larger pool from which to select candidates for the priesthood. • The children could enjoy a father figure and have an open relationship without having to be forced to silence or to lie about the real identity of their father. • It will give the legitimate right to the child to have emotional and financial stability. • They will not suffer the long-term trauma from alienation. • The women and the priests will not be subjected to stress, fear, emotional distress, depression, isolation, suicidal thought etc. • They won’t have to go through intimidation, harassment, humiliation, rejection from their community and having their reputation destroyed. • Their hope to build a family and well-being would be restored. • The Universal Declaration of Human Rights would be respected. Those are only a few important elements; there are much more to be considered. It is crucial that we get involved and ask for the legitimate right to vote against mandatory celibacy during the synod because it does impact the fate of our future. This is also a social issue and not only a clerical one. Therefore, it is not only up to the bishops at the Vatican to decide once more whether if mandatory celibacy should be abolished or live on. By allowing them to decide exclusively, once again, they will not validate how the society is affected and the suffering of the people will stand for generations to come. Mandatory celibacy should be replaced by optional celibacy, so that all priests can decide for themselves what they want for their vocation. We also need the help of the general population to add to the number of those who want a change in the Catholic Church. So please use your right as part of society and sign this petition to make a change for the best for our families.