As discussions continue to percolate around the case for the ordination of married men to the priesthood and how such a development can be accommodated within the larger Catholic tradition, most commentators, apologists, lobbyists, theologians and priests who have entered the fray have largely ignored one of the central arguments for the imposition of mandatory celibacy on the parochial or regular clergy: the erosion of church property income by means of inherited land, imperial dynastic ambitions and a precipitate drop in the episcopal coffers.
Far less inspiring than an argument based on sacralizing sexual abstinence.
But the Catholic tradition has always been as much about the mundane, the messy and the practical as it has been about—and continues to be about—the ascetical, the charismatic and the transcendent.
The introduction of married men into the contemporary presbyterate must involve a transparent, historically informed and pastorally sensitive approach. Nothing must be left out.