Pope Francis recently suggested that the Catholic Church is now open to reconsidering its 1,000-year-old celibacy rules.
The act of celibacy was put into effect in the 11th century as a way to ensure the clergy’s money would stay within the church, instead of with their family, according to the Daily Mail.
The Vatican apparently enforces the rule among priests, but there has been growing pushback against the ban.
Germany’s Catholic Church voted for a resolution asking Francis to end the obligation for priests to remain celibate, according to the report.
Francis noted that the ban was only “temporary,” and that there was no contradiction for a priest to take a wife.
The news came in a recent interview with Infobae, an Argentine publication.
Francis said: “There is no contradiction for a priest to marry. Celibacy in the Western Church is a temporary prescription.”
“It is not eternal like priestly ordination, which is for ever whether you like it or not. On the other hand, celibacy is a discipline.”
However, Francis’ current view on celibacy seems to have changed from what he thought in 2019, when he suggested that married men were to be barred from serving as a priest.
Some within the faith have suggested that making the celibacy rule more lax could shore up the shortage of clerics.
Francis cited the Eastern Church, a branch of Catholicism that is more lenient with marriage, stating: “Everyone in the Eastern Church is married, or those who want to. Before ordination there is the choice to marry or to be celibate.”
To celebrate his tenth anniversary as Pope, Francis has given several interviews, where he has cited the rising divorce rates and the potential that young people are getting married too early.
He said: “Sometimes one goes to a wedding and it seems more like it’s a social reception and not a sacrament.”
“When young people say for ever, who knows what they mean by for ever,” he said.
The question of celibacy comes amid reports of sexual debauchery within the American church.
A conservative Catholic group reportedly tracked various priests without their knowledge, revealing that some of them were using gay dating and hookup apps.
While some believe that tracking these priests was justified to root out the debaucherous behavior, there are those who feel that surveillance of any kind is a violation of private life.
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