Priests May Be Allowed To Have Sex In Future – Pope Francis
Pope Francis has declared he is open to revisiting the institution of celibacy and has suggested that priests may soon be permitted to engage in sexual activity.
There is no conflict for a priest to be married, Francis declared in an interview that was released in Argentina media last week. In the Western Church, celibacy is a short-term prescription.
It is not eternal in the same way that priestly ordination is permanent.
The Roman Catholic Church did not mandate celibacy until the 11th century. Because clergy without spouses were more likely to leave their money to the church, the change was made in part for financial reasons.
Because of Jesus’ example, the Church presently mandates celibacy for priests. But, as the Catholic Church deals with the fallout from child abuse scandals across the globe, there are mounting calls to abandon the norm.
The German Synod recently approved a motion asking the Pope to lift the celibacy requirement for priests.
Francis’ openness to reviewing celibacy marks a shift from his position in 2019 when he said: “Personally, I think that celibacy is a gift to the Church. I would say that I do not agree with allowing optional celibacy, no.”
Francis responded “Yeah, yes” when asked if he would be willing to have the rule reviewed. In actuality, every member of the Eastern Church is to wed those that desire to. They decide the option marry or remain celibate exists before ordination.
The Eastern Church is a division of Catholicism that accepts the primacy of the Pope while giving room for local customs and liturgy.
The Eastern Church, which permits priests to wed and practices customs like Coptism, has a much lower number of documented abuse incidents than the Western Church.
He did, however, say that exceptions may be made for priests in remote regions.
Last weekend, Germany’s Catholic Church agreed to a spate of liberalizing measures, including the blessing of same-sex marriages and the admission of women as deacons, or priestly aides. In response to the clerical abuse scandal, the review was initiated in 2019.
Francis also addressed increased divorce in an interview released on Friday by Argentine media site InfoBae, stating that young people were often too eager to marry.
“Sometimes [one] goes to a wedding, and it seems more like it’s a social reception and not a sacrament,” he said. “When young people say forever, who knows what they mean [by] forever.”
He added: “A wise lady once told me: ‘You priests are very smart. To be an ordained priest, you have to spend six, or seven years in the seminary. To get married, which is for a lifetime — because a priest can leave for us it is for a lifetime— they give us four meetings.’”