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.