WelCom April 2023
Pope Francis discussed the possibility of revising the Western discipline of priestly celibacy in a wide-ranging interview for his 10th anniversary as Pope last month.
Speaking with Argentine journalist Daniel Hadad, he said: ‘There is no contradiction for a priest to marry. Celibacy in the Western Church is a temporary prescription: I do not know if it is settled in one way or another, but it is temporary in this sense,’ Pope Francis said.
‘It is not eternal like priestly ordination, which is forever, whether you like it or not. Whether you leave or not is another matter, but it is forever. On the other hand, celibacy is a discipline.’
When asked if celibacy ‘could be reviewed,’ Pope Francis responded: ‘Yes, yes. In fact, everyone in the Eastern Church is married. Or those who want to. There they make a choice. Before ordination, there is the choice to marry or to be celibate.’
It isn’t likely making celibacy optional would lead more people to join the priesthood, Pope Francis said. He noted there are already married priests in the Catholic Church in the Eastern rites.
He also said earlier that day he had met with an Eastern Catholic priest who works in the Roman Curia who has a wife and a son.
Sources: Crux Now; CNA