2. Archbishop Curtiss of Omaha has said outright that there is no shortage of priests: liberal bishops intentionally put good priests in “administrative” and “teaching” jobs so they can justify giving “pastoral administrator” jobs to divorced women and liberal nuns. He also talks about the intentional rejection of good candidates because of their orthodoxy.
3. Deacons can be married, and the restoratino of the diaconate by Vatican II was meant to help the priest shortage *that was already underway well before the council*. Has that helped? No.
4. Ordination has always been considered an impediment to marriage. However, ironically, the Vatican will allow Latin deacons to remarry if they meet certain conditions of necessity (for example, the deacon has young children and is widowed), and get case-by-case approval from the bishop. However, the result of this exception is that bishops pre-screen deacon candidates for these “conditions”. So, if you’re a Roman Catholic father with 8+ kids, you’re not likely to be considered for the diaconate unless your kids are already out of the house. if you’re an RC who”s contracepted and has 2 kids, you’re all set for the diaconate.
5. I think that the main reason why mandatory celibacy will be lifted–if it ever is–will be none other than _The Theology of the Body_. The main reason for celibacy was anccient rules about fasting from marital relations before Communion (it was also a reason for the infrequent Communion of laity). From what I’ve read, a married priest in the first 1000 years of the Church had to coordinate his sacramental life and his sex life, or just practice complete continence, anyway.
Those fasting requirements were lifted a long time ago. If celibacy is lifted, it’s because JPII has finally opened up a new level of theological appreciation for human sexuality which has been suggested by many before him (he specifically gave credit to Dietrich von Hildebrand and C. S. Lewis for inspiring “the theology of the body”), and even having its roots in Scripture and such ascetic-minded theologians as St. Augustine, but has existed only in a very germinal state until now.