Vatican Official Opens Door to New Debate Over Celibacy for Priests

Ecclesiastical celibacy is not church dogma but a matter of tradition and open for discussion, says Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin.

His comments in the Venezuelan newspaper El Universal have set off speculation that the Catholic Church under Pope Francis is ready to tackle the issue of whether priests should be allowed to marry head on, even though it has been a matter of continuing debate for years.

“It is not a church dogma and it can be discussed because it is a church tradition,” Parolin, the Vatican’s second in command, said in his interview with El Universal.