Catholic Priest Celibacy May Be Reconsidered, Vatican Secretary Suggests

While Catholic priests’ celibacy seems as much of a part of their way of life as black shirts with white collars and doing mass, a kinder, gentler Vatican may be open to altering the tradition.

Pope Francis has ushered in a wave of hope on the Catholic church, and celibacy is the newest front for potential change being bandied about.

Since his recent promotion, the new Pope has been breaking with all sorts of tradition, and even indicated some acceptance for homosexuality among those who are members of the church — viewed as significant progress.

Now his number two guy is talking about celibate priests, and it looks like the practice could soon be part of church history.

Archbishop Pietro Parolin is the Vatican’s Secretary of State, and Parolin says that the practice isn’t even a really firmly ingrained thing. HuffPo explains:

“Parolin said in an interview with Venezuelan newspaper El Universal that the tradition of priestly celibacy is not dogma, or a law of divine origin, and is therefore open to discussion. He went on to note that while the church is not a democratic institution, it needs to ‘reflect the democratic spirit of the times and adopt a collegial way of governing.’ “

Parolin was quoted by NBC on priestly celibacy, saying:

“Celibacy is not an institution but look, it is also true that you can discuss (it) because as you say this is not a dogma, a dogma of the church… [but one] cannot say simply that this belongs in the past.”

On the overall matter of celibacy and priests, Parolin added that “it is possible to discuss and reflect on these topics that are not defined faith, and consider some modifications, but always in the service of unity and according to God’s will.”