Secretary of State of the Vatican says that priestly celibacy is up for discussion does this mean that Married priests are on the horizon?

I am confused.

Since is is not - and never has been - doctrine nor dogma, it is/has been always “up for discussion.” The eastern catholic churches have always had a married presbytery. There have always been dispensations even within the latin church. Since it is a prudential discipline on the part of the church…anything could happen. Of course, nothing might happen, too.

In the Early Church, there were married priests in the East and the West. After a while, the West started practicing a celibate priesthood while the East continued ordaining married men to the priesthood. Currently, there are some married priests in the Roman Rite (most of which used to be Anglicans). However, the general practice of the West is to only ordain celibate men to the priesthood. This could change one day or could continue to stay the same. :slight_smile:

Excellent answers above. :thumbsup:
The unmarried priesthood is a discipline and so sure - it could change and that might even be a good thing.
We’ll just have to wait and see.

As for “Married priests on the horizon”, if something WERE to change, my guess - and I emphasize that this is only a guess - would be that the Church might offer married, permanent deacons whose children are grown the option to be ordained. These men are already highly trained and it would be a quick way to increase the number of priests in an area.
But as I say - this is merely a guess - speculation on my part.


This is a lesson in why never to get catholic news from secular headlines.

A reporter asked the good archbishop (as reporters are wont to do) about the teaching on celibacy. The archbishop answered honestly that priestly cdelibacy is a discipline and not a dogma. The reporter then twists this matter-of-fact answer into a headline that makes it sound like a change in the celibacy requirement is likely to occur in the immediate future. :rolleyes:

It’s all smoke and no fire. Nothing of the sort is “on the horizon” any more or less than it has been for the last 2000 years.

We already have married priest via the converts from the Angleton Church.
Many questions arise as to what would happen if the discipline was changed for the Latin Rite priest, perhaps the reason for opening the question for discussion.

The Church at any time could get rid of the celibacy rule, but I highly doubt it would. Celibacy has given us nothing but good results.

I would say this is debatable. “Good results” yes, I agree with that. “Nothing but good results”…That I’m not so sure about.

For instance, a married priesthood would provide a larger pool of candidates and the current problem of the “priest shortage” might have been avoided.
Co-incidentally to this - the larger pool of potential candidates might have allowed diocese to more readily remove certain priests from work that was unsuitable for them - and for the health of the Church.
So this one possible area where the celibate priesthood returned a less than positive result.

Just a thought


As others have pointed out priestly celibacy is a discipline, not a doctrine, and like all disciplines they can be changed.
As for your question we shall just have to wait and see. If the Church allows married priests I have no problem with that.



There is a common misconception that allowing married priests would solve the “priest shortage.” But the problem is: God calls plenty of men to the celibate priesthood. Most men reject the priesthood because of the commitment of proclaiming the Gospel, not because of celibacy. You don’t see very many Latin Catholics flocking to become married Byzantine priests.

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