(RightWing.org) – The Catholic Church has some steadfast rules in place for its priests. They must possess a slew of traits, including open-mindedness and being good listeners, so they can properly engage with their parishioners. They must also have integrity, compassion, and humility, as well as resign themselves to a life of obedience and poverty. Finally, priests are required to take a vow of celibacy. One archbishop, however, believes the Roman Catholic Church should overturn that last requirement, and he’s speaking out about it.
Who Is Archbishop Charles Scicluna?
Archbishop Charles Scicluna is responsible for running the Church in Malta. He also holds one of the most influential positions at the Vatican — the Adjunct Secretary of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith (DDF). The DDF is the oldest department of the Roman Curia and the body responsible for defending the Church from heresy and defending the Catholic doctrine. Scicluna is also a lawyer and is highly regarded in the Vatican and respected as a sex crimes expert, regularly called upon by Pope Francis.
Archbishop Scicluna is also much like Pope Francis in that he’s more liberal in his beliefs, having already openly dissented from the Church’s teaching on subjects like homosexuality.
Should Marriage Be Allowed?
In speaking with the Times of Malta, Scicluna said he believes the Roman Catholic Church should do away with the requirement of mandatory celibacy for priests and follow in the footsteps of some Eastern Catholic churches in that many of them allow married men to serve as priests.
Among the archbishop’s arguments for allowing marriage, Scicluna said the Church has “lost many great priests because they chose marriage,” and why should he lose one for that reason? He fully acknowledges that “it will sound heretical to some people” but maintains his position.
Archbishop Scicluna says that there are already priests around the world who are engaged in secret relationships and still serving the Church. Some, he says, even have children. It’s a “global reality,” he insists.
Pope Francis has the right to change the rule, which is just that: a rule, not Church dogma. In 2019, there was a movement to change it. At that time, the Synod of Bishops voted mainly in favor of allowing married men to become priests in the Amazon region because the Church was in need of help. However, it never happened as Pope Francis was of the mindset that such changes shouldn’t be made because of a vocational crisis.
Perhaps, with high-ranking officials in the Vatican, like Scicluna, speaking out, that rule may one day change.
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