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Prominent Vatican Official Advocates For Married Priests

A prominent Vatican official advocates for married priests. Advisor to Pope Francis, Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, suggested in an interview on Sunday that the Roman Catholic Church should "seriously think" about allowing priests to marry.

Bernard Horne
Jan 09, 2024206 Shares25766 Views
A prominent Vatican official advocates for married priests. Advisor to PopeFrancis, Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, suggested in an interview on Sundaythat the Roman Catholic Churchshould "seriously think" about allowing priests to marry. In a candid statement, he acknowledged that this perspective might be perceived as heretical by some.
Although Pope Francis firmly upheld the celibacy requirement for priests in 2019, it is not a formal Church doctrine and could potentially change under a subsequent pope. Pope Francis himself, in a 2023 interview with a Latin American newsoutlet, referred to the celibacy rule as a "discipline" rather than an eternal aspect of priestly ordination, indicating that it could be revisited in the future.
Archbishop Charles Scicluna, recognized for his investigations into cases of sexual abuse, highlighted that in the initial millennium of the Church's history, priests were permitted to marry. He also pointed out that marriage is presently allowed in the Eastern Rite of the Catholic Church.
"If it were up to me, I would revise the requirement that priests have to be celibate," he said. "Experience has shown me that this is something we need to seriously think about."
Archbishop Charles Scicluna expressed that the Church has suffered the loss of many exceptional priests who opted for marriage. He emphasized the relevance of celibacy in the Church but also acknowledged the complexities priests face when they develop romantic feelings, forcing them to make challenging choices between love and their commitment to the priesthood. Scicluna highlighted that some priests navigate this dilemma by engaging in clandestine sentimental relationships.
The ongoing debate over whether Roman Catholic priests should be permitted to marry has persisted for centuries. Unlike the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Rite of the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church allow married mento become priests. Similarly, Protestant and Anglican churches permit a married priesthood.
Some individuals within the Roman Catholic Church who are opposed to the idea of a married priesthood claim that celibacy is the best way for a priest to devote himself completely to the Church. In 2021, it was proposed that Pope Francis ordain some older married men in remote areas of the Amazon where parishioners only encountered a priest once a year, but he declined the request.


The Roman Catholic Church is the only Christiandenomination that requires its priests to maintain complete celibacy, which means that they are not allowed to marry or have sexual contact with other people. This qualification for priesthood did not come into existence until the 12th century.
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