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In new interviews, Pope Francis discusses celibacy, war, and his 10 years

March 13, 2023

In a flurry of interviews timed for the 10th anniversary of his election, Pope Francis discussed priestly celibacy, the hatred of warfare, and his record as Pontiff.

In conversation with an Argentine journalist, the Pope said that “there is no contradiction for a priest to marry. 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.”

Asked whether the discipline of clerical celibacy could be reviewed, the Pope said, “Yes, yes. In fact, everyone in the Eastern Church is married. Or those who want to. There they make a choice. Before ordination there is the choice to marry or to be celibate.”

At the same time, the Pontiff said that he did not think that the ordination of married men to the priesthood would lead to a rise in priestly vocations.

The Pontiff declined to assess his own leadership, in an interview with the Italian daily Il Fatto Quotidano. He explained: “The Church not a business, or an NGO, and the pope is not an administrator who has been commissioned to balance the numbers at the end of the year.” He added that in governing the Church he “doesn’t follow my own will, to pursue my own ideas, but to listen, alongside all of the Church, to the words and will of the Lord.”

And in a podcast that the Vatican prepared—and released as a “Popecast”—he spoke of his horror at the bloodshed occurring in Syria, Ukraine, and elsewhere. “Behind the wars, there is the arms industry; that is diabolical,” he said.

When asked what gift he would like for his anniversary, the Pope replied: “Peace; we need peace.”


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  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Mar. 13, 2023 7:40 PM ET USA

    I'm glad we are doing penance on this tenth anniversary. Anyone who sees no problem with allowing priests to marry has little or no concept of the struggles faced by the Church back in medieval times with cohabiting priests. Celibacy is a gift, and we can pray that all priests in the Latin Rite will accept it joyfully.