\"Pope

Pope Francis I: Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny has invited the Pope to visit Ireland. Photo by: Getty Images

Will Pope Francis allow married priests after 1,000 years?

\"Pope

Pope Francis I: Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny has invited the Pope to visit Ireland. Photo by: Getty Images

So Pope Francis has opened the door a crack to married priests in what will be seen as perhaps his most significant statement since becoming pontiff.

"Celibacy is not a dogma. 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," he said in an interview after his Middle East trip.

Though the tradition of celibate priests goes back 1,000 years it is not Catholic Church dogma and is, therefore, open to change.

Not before time. The church would be renewed in so many different ways if priests could marry. The pedophile scandals would be firmly in the rear -view mirror and much better adjusted young men would apply for the priesthood.

And why not? It would be an idealistic way to serve those in need and your community while retaining the right to a home life and family.

There is nothing natural about celibacy. The church cannot have it both ways, insisting sex is a gift from God for procreation yet denying their own priests that basic right.

St Peter was married according to three separate gospel passages as were several early popes. Celibacy only became the law around the 11th century.

The Second Lateran Council attended by 500 bishops held in 1139 forbade marriage. In 1563 the Council of Trent reaffirmed the ban.

Now comes Pope Francis.

Will he change it? Apparently he would have to submit the request to the Pontifical Council on the Interpretation of Texts. (They last changed the statute disallowing women as altar servers, girls now serve mass)

Will priests get to marry? It would be earthshaking if it happened, but this pope is an earthshaker to begin with.

His comments certainly seem to indicate his preference for change. Let us hope he has the courage to implement it.

COMMENTS

Log in with your social accounts:

Or, log in with your IrishCentral account:

Forgot your password ?

Don't have an account yet? Register now !

Join IrishCentral with your social accounts:


Already have an account ?

Or, sign up for an IrishCentral account below:

By clicking above you are indicating that you have read & agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.


Make sure we gathered the correct information from you

By clicking above you are indicating that you have read & agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy.


You already have an account on IrishCentral! Please confirm you're the owner.


Our new policy requires our users to save a first and last name. Please update your account: