Pope Francis’ new Secretary of State of the Vatican thinks priest celibacy is up for debate.
When asked by the Venezuelan newspaper El Universal about the topic, Archbishop Pietro Parolin said the matter was not set in stone.
“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 of the church,” the archbishop said, according to NBC News.
He did say that the fact that priest celibacy is a long-held Catholic tradition should be taken into consideration.
“The efforts that the church made to keep eccleciastical celibacy, to impose ecclesiastical celibacy, have to be taken into consideration,” he said. “One cannot say simply that this belongs in the past.”
The archbishop, along with Pope Francis, aims to make changes. Parolin hopes to do so without dividing the church.
“It has always been said that the church is not a democracy,” he said in the interview. “But it would be good during these times that there could be a more democratic spirit, in the sense of listening carefully, and I believe the pope has made of this one of his pontificate’s objectives.”
Previously, Pope Francis’ plans to reform the Vatican have caught the attention of Catholics, but he has yet to publicly speak on the subject of mandatory celibacy for priests since becoming pope.
When he was still Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina, he said in a 2012 interview, that when it came to celibacy, “it is a matter of discipline, not of faith. It can change,” according to the Huffington Post.
Source: Newser, Huffington Post