In a recent interview with Miami-based Spanish-language online news organization Infobae, Pope Francis discussed the possibility of revising priestly celibacy.
Pope Francis said that celibacy is a temporary discipline rather than an eternal obligation like priestly ordination, and that there is no contradiction for a priest to marry.
When asked if celibacy “could be reviewed,” he explained:
“Celibacy in the Western Church is a temporary prescription: I do not know if it is settled in one way or another, but it is temporary in this sense. It is not eternal like priestly ordination, which is forever, whether you like it or not. Whether you leave or not is another matter, but it is forever. On the other hand, celibacy is a discipline.”
Moreover, he believes making celibacy optional would not necessarily lead to an increase in people joining the priesthood, because there are already married priests in the Catholic Church in the Eastern rites.
He recounted a recent meeting he had with an Eastern Catholic priest in the Roman Curia who has a wife and a son while fulfilling his priestly duties.
Pope Francis has spoken in the past about the importance of celibacy in the Church. He has also suggested that exceptions could be made for married clergy in remote areas where there is a shortage of priests.
Pray for the priesthood!