Four out of 10 Dutch priests want an end to celibacy laws

Some 40% of Dutch Catholic priests want to be rid of the celibacy rules, according to an anonymous survey of 135 priests by tv programme Altijd Wat.

The survey shows that 39% think celibacy should be retained, with 21% taking a neutral stance.
Of the priests who want celibacy abandoned, 22% think it leads to sexual abuse. Just 10% of all priests questioned support this view.
Last year, a Catholic church inquiry found at least 800 Roman Catholic priests and monks were involved in abusing children in their care between 1945 and 1985.
In addition, church officials, bishops and lay people were aware of what was going on but failed to take action to protect children, the commission said.
There are around 800 socially active priests in the Netherlands, 700 of whom were invited to take part in the survey.

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