Vatican Official Says Priest Celibacy Is Open for Debate

Another surprisingly liberal statement from the Vatican

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HOANG DINH NAM / AFP / Getty Images

The Vatican's Undersecretary of State Pietro Parolin arrives at Hanoi's museum of ethnology on February 19, 2009.

The Vatican’s new secretary of state said earlier this week that the issue of priest celibacy is an open discussion. Archbishop Pietro Parolin surprised many Catholics with his comments, reports NPR.

“It’s not a church dogma and it can be discussed because it is a church tradition,” Parolin told El Universal, a Venezuelan newspaper.

Celibacy has been a main tenet of the priesthood for centuries. The first written mandate for chastity dates back to 304 C.E.

Parolin’s statement comes shortly after Pope Francis said publicly that Catholics should not judge homosexuals.

MOREWhy Celibacy Policy For Catholic Priests Is Not Changing Soon

[NPR]

28 comments
Dr.AYOMA
Dr.AYOMA

@patricewilson81 Hi there??

Dr.AYOMA
Dr.AYOMA

I am proud to comprehend that, we are celebrating 50 years since independent.

RNicholsonJr
RNicholsonJr

RT@TIMEWorld Makes sense because the roots of Priest celibacy are based more on centuries old Italian Trust & Estate Law than on scripture

Queeneedsie
Queeneedsie

@TIME the age of consent at the Vatican.....12 FUQIN YEARS OLD....largest crime rate per capita winner..the Vatican..debate on celibacy wtf!

Fillybuster2
Fillybuster2

OK, so when does this church lighten up on women? 

LADYDUNDAS
LADYDUNDAS

@TIME like everything must evolve or die, religion is the same. Good news.

bigherb38
bigherb38

MANY CHURCH RULES AND COSTUMES HAVE BEEN BROUGHT INTO THE RELIGIOUS  FAITH THAT ARE MAN MADE AND , NOT FROM THE DIVINE ONE.   IF GOD HAD NOT INTENDED MAN TO HAVE A MATE , THEN HE WOULD NOT  GIVEN  HIM ONE .

muchechrys
muchechrys

@TIME It's just a statement from someone smoking something in the Vatican...kapish

GDK0987
GDK0987

@TIME @RiskRank needs of priests and common people are the same and enforcing celibacy means forcing them to follow dishonest ways to..Contd

GDK0987
GDK0987

@TIME @RiskRank It is very late but at least now the orthodoxy is gradually realizing the scientific truth that biological needs of ...Contd

kr.loker
kr.loker

This isn't new or "surprisingly liberal." It's a true statement. But just because something could theoretically change doesn't mean it will.

blisterpeanuts
blisterpeanuts

This celibacy rule dates back to the late Roman Empire and is irrelevant today.  Many priests have defied the rule over the centuries, using mistresses or male lovers to satisfy their natural human needs.

It's time the celibacy rule was overturned and made optional.  There's a shortage of men entering the priesthood and it's obvious why.  Furthermore, the priesthood should be opened up to women as well.  It's time for Catholicism to enter the 20th Century.

AngelMorsi
AngelMorsi

@TIME Papa Francisco disse Católicos não devem julgar homossexuais.Agora Igreja está publicamente aberta a debate d celibato dos padres.Bom!

AngelMorsi
AngelMorsi

@TIME Pope Francis said publicly Catholics shouldn't judge homosexuals. Now the Church is publicy open to debate the priests' celibacy.Good!

dpo_79
dpo_79

@TIME Könnte mich bitte gerade jemand kneifen?