Pope Francis has discussed the possibility of revising the Western practice of priestly celibacy in a recent interview.
He stated that there is no contradiction for a priest to marry, and that celibacy is a temporary prescription in the Western Church, unlike priestly ordination which is forever.
He noted that celibacy is a discipline and that it may be reviewed, as it is in the Eastern Church where priests have a choice to marry or remain celibate before ordination.
However, Pope Francis does not believe that making celibacy optional would lead to more people joining the priesthood, citing the existence of married priests in the Catholic Church in the Eastern rites. He believes that celibacy is a gift to the Church and does not support optional celibacy.
The interview with Infobae also covered topics such as Daniel Ortega’s dictatorship in Nicaragua, drug trafficking in Latin America, the war in Ukraine, and marriage annulments.
On the subject of annulments, Pope Francis suggested looking to what his predecessor Benedict XVI had said and commented on the invalidity of a large part of church marriages due to a lack of faith.
He also noted the difference in the level of preparation required for ordination as opposed to marriage, with priests spending years in seminary and couples receiving only four meetings.