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Priestly celibacy, a Catholic “tradition”

Vatican’s new Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, told a Venezuelan newspaper that priestly celibacy “is not a church dogma,” but rather “a church tradition.” These comments have raised eyebrows in the Catholic community.

But the National Catholic Reporter writes that Parolin’s statements are in line with standard moderate catholic views. The independent newspaper claims that these points have been made at different times by different people and are not indicative of any policy change in the Vatican. Parolin explains the church’s stance on celibacy further in the interview.

The work the church did to institute ecclesiastical celibacy must be considered. We cannot simply say that it is part of the past. It is a great challenge for the pope, because he is the one with the ministry of unity and all of those decisions must be made thinking of the unity of the church and not to divide it. Therefore we can talk, reflect, and deepen on these subjects that are not definite, and we can think of some modifications, but always with consideration of unity, and all according to the will of God. It is not about what I would like but what God wants for His church.

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