The current pope Francis (83) would consider abolishing celibacy. It is a discussion that has been going on in the church for centuries, but seems to be increasingly relevant because of the many abuse scandals.
Cardinal Sarah and Ratzinger, the earthly name of the former pope, state that the future of the Catholic Church is not safe if celibacy is affected. They call according to Le Figaro therefore to maintain celibacy.
What is celibacy?
Celibacy within the Catholic Church means that priests, for example, must remain unmarried. Because sex is something that, according to the church, takes place within marriage, sexual acts are not allowed either.
Because you do not bind yourself as a person to another person, you could achieve a better bond with the Christian God, is the idea behind sexual abstinence.
The first mention of celibacy as a law within the church dates from the year 306 AD.
The two further write that the priesthood goes “through a dark period.” “Priests have been touched by all the scandals and are becoming restless from questioning celibacy. That is why they are wrongly tempted to leave everything behind and give up.”
Since taking office in 2013, Franciscus has been hoping on several occasions for the abolition or relaxation of celibacy. He is also known as more progressive than his predecessor.
A year before he became pope, Francis wrote in his book Sobre el Cielo y la Tierra (About Heaven and Earth) that he did not exclude the abolition of celibacy, but only if ‘cultural reasons’ would give cause for it. Two years later he added there an interview “There are solutions, and we will find them. But it takes time.”
The book with the title Des deptheurs de nos cœurs (From the depths of our hearts) appears January 15. For now only in French.