Catholic Priests to Have Sex as Church set to Review Celibacy Practice
The Catholic Church is open to reviewing its millennial practice of celibacy, Pope Francis has suggested.
Pope Francis, 86, hinted that priests might not have to be celibate in the future
This development is coming after growing calls to abandon the rule that was introduced in the 11th century.
He said the ban was only “temporary” and there was also no “contradiction” for a priest to get married.
Celibacy was a requirement of the Catholic Church in the 11th century for financial reasons, as childless clergymen were more likely to leave their wealth to the church.
The Vatican enforces the rule among priests, but there are increasing calls to end the ban.
It comes after Germany’s Catholic Church voted in favor of a resolution calling for the pope to end the obligation for priests to be celibate.
Pope Francis, 86, said celibacy was only a “temporary prescription” and there was also no “contradiction” for a priest to marry.
In an interview with the Argentine publication Infobae, Pope Francis, 86, said: ‘There is no contradiction for a priest to get married. Celibacy in the Western Church is a temporary prescription.
It is not eternal like priestly ordination, which is forever, whether you like it or not. On the other hand, celibacy is a discipline.
The Pope also cited the example of the Eastern Church, a branch of Catholicism that allows more leeway, saying: ‘Everyone in the Eastern Church is married, or whoever they want. Before ordination there is the option to marry or be celibate.’
It marks a departure from his position in 2019, when he suggested celibacy was a “gift” to the church and disagreed with “allowing optional celibacy.”
In the interview, which is one of many to celebrate the 10th anniversary of his election as pope today, he also spoke about rising divorce rates and suggested that young people sometimes marry too soon.
Pope Francis said: ‘Sometimes you go to a wedding and it seems more like a social reception than a sacrament.
‘When young people say forever, who knows what they mean by forever.’