Catholic World News

Pope speaks on priestly celibacy, populism in new interview

March 08, 2017

Pope Francis indicated that he is open to discussion of ordination for married men, in his latest published interview.

The interview was scheduled for publication in the German journal Die Zeit on March 9, during a week when the Pope and the leaders of the Roman Curia are on their annual Lenten Retreat.

Questioned about the shortage of priests in many countries, Pope Francis said that “the Church is weakened, because a Church without the Eucharist doesn’t have strength: the Church makes the Eucharist, but the Eucharist also makes the Church.”

However, the Pope dismissed suggestions that celibacy should be optional, saying that “voluntary celibacy is not a solution.” He showed greater willingness to discuss ordination of mature married men.

In answer to a question about the rise of nationalism and populism, the Pontiff said: “Populism is vile and ends badly, as the last century has shown.” He argued that populist movements “always need a Messiah,” and pointed to the experience of Germany and the rise of Hitler.

Pope Francis spoke to Die Zeit about his plans for international travel, disclosing that tentative plans for trips to South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo had encountered obstacles and “I don’t think I’ll be able to go.” He said that his travel plans for the coming year include trips to India and Bangladesh, to Colombia, and to Fatima in Portugal; there is also the possibility of a trip to Egypt, he said.


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Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Bveritas2322 - Mar. 09, 2017 2:43 PM ET USA

    I'm waiting for him to suggest that only men who have been married and divorced should be eligible to enter seminaries, so they know "the pain" that those who make war on their first wives and children are going through.

  • Posted by: DrJazz - Mar. 09, 2017 9:41 AM ET USA

    For Lent, Pope Francis should have given up talking.