In an apparent effort to promote Pope Francis' encouragement to shake up some age-old traditions in the Roman Catholic Church, the Pope's new right-hand man has called for a "discussion" on the issue of celibacy, the Daily Mail (British) website reports today (September 12, 2013).
Archbishop Pietro Parolin -- the new secretary of state of the Vatican -- told the Venezuelan newspaper "El Universal" that celibacy is tradition rather than law, and should be open to discussion.
Archbishop Parolin said the Church must "reflect the democratic spirit of the times" and take the opinions of its members into account. He added: "Celibacy is not an institution but look, it is also true that you can discuss it because as you say this is not a dogma, a dogma of the church."
Archbishop Parolin is considered to be the most powerful official in the Vatican and his comments carry considerable weight.