Senior Vatican official speaks out in favour of married priests

The Roman Catholic Church should “think seriously” about allowing priests to marry, a senior Vatican official and adviser to Pope Francis said in an interview published on Sunday, the 7th of January, reports Reuters.
“This is probably the first time I am saying this publicly and it will sound heretical to some people,” Archbishop of Malta Charles Scicluna, who is also assistant secretary of the Vatican’s doctrinal office, told the Times of Malta.
Although in 2019 Pope Francis ruled out changing the Roman Catholic rule requiring priests to observe celibacy, in a 2023 interview with a Latin American news agency, he discussed the rule of priestly celibacy, saying it was not perpetual, like priestly ordination, but a “discipline” that could be revised by a future priest, according to Reuters.
The archbishop, who is known for his work investigating crimes of sexual abuse, stressed in the interview that priests were allowed to marry in the first millennium of the Church’s history.

Based on the experience of archbishop Scicluna, the law needs to be revised.

The 64-year-old Archbishop admitted that the Church has lost “many great priests” because of their choice of marriage. He highlighted the challenges priests face in choosing between love and commitment to the priesthood, noting that some tend to take refuge in secret sentimental relationships.
The debate on whether Roman Catholic priests should be allowed to marry has been going on for centuries.
While married men can become priests in the Eastern Catholic Church and in the Orthodox, Protestant and Anglican churches, the Roman Catholic Church still requires its priests to be celibate.
Opponents argue that celibacy allows priests to devote themselves fully to the Church, writes Reuters.
Read also: Pope Francis approves blessings for same-sex couples
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