Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Pope:"Door Is Always Open" on Celibacy Question; Is Most Explicit on Celibacy Since Becoming Pope

Pope Francis directly addressed the issue of priest celibacy yesterday for the first time since his election as pope, while on his way back to Rome from a historic trip to the Middle East, the World Wide Religious News website reports today (May 27, 2014).

He told reporters, "It is a rule of life that I appreciate very much, and I think it is a gift for the church, but since it is not a dogma, the door is always open."

The pope has hinted that the practice of priest celibacy is open to change before, but this was his most explicit public statement on the subject since becoming pope.

The Catholic Church already allows priests to be married in several eastern European countries -- including Poland and Ukraine -- where services are held in Greek Catholic Churches, which are churches that come under the jurisdiction of the Vatican, but conduct their services so as to be more like services in the Greek Orthodox Church than the Roman Catholic Church.

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