Pope Francis Unlikely to Allow Marriage for Priests

By Mei Manuel, March 16, 2017 00:03 AM



One cardinal has spoken in a recent speech regarding Pope Francis' stance on priest celibacy in the report of Catholic Herald.

According to Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the Catholic Church's 'strong, firm' tradition of priestly celibacy is unlikely to change despite Pope Francis's recent comment that the Church should reflect on married priests and strive for reform.

The Archbishop of Westminister said, 'I think when Pope Francis makes these comments what he's showing us is he's got a spirit that's open to God. He's not saying "I want married priests, I want female deacons". He's saying "let's not be afraid".'

Cardinal Nichols, a contender for the papacy in the future, added: 'We have a strong, firm tradition, so we can explore things. We're comfortable. For myself, I don't see these things changing.'

These remarks were made in his appearance at CYMFed Flame 2017, a gathering which reported a 10,000 young Catholics attedance in SSE Arena.

Cardinal Nichols was reflecting on Pope Francis's interview with the German newspaper Die Zeit, in which he said that the Church should consider whether the Holy Spirit is demanding married priests.

In the article, the Pope said, 'In the Church, it is always important to recognise the right moment, to recognise when the Holy Spirit demands something.'

Cardinal Nichols said that, although there are already some married priests in Britain, it should not mean that it is a rule that should be adopted by all.

He said: 'What they teach us is that marriage is not a solution to problems, it is a challenge. It is a tough call. We don't solve our problems by saying "here's a solution" [with married priests].'

Cardinal Nichols also stressed the importance of having a priest who is not married and how they differed to those who are married.

'I think the tradition of a priest who comes and gives his whole life to the Church means an awful lot to people on the street,' he said. 'They say, "that's our priest. Nobody else's. That's ours." They know he's there for them.'

When asked about his opinion regarding the Pope's statement and why he said it, the Cardinal said he believed that Francis was 'showing an openness to finding a solution'.

The Cardinal said that it showed that Pope Francis is a good leader, and that that he 'brings out the best in people'.

'When people hear a leader speaking about what is best in them, they want to give their best,' he said. 'Too many leaders speak about fear, too many leaders trade on fear. That is, in my view, poor leadership.'

Cardinal Nichols's comment regarding the Pope's leadership came after Pope Francis has asked the Catholic faithful to 'continue to pray for me' in a social media post yesterday, the fourth anniversary of his election as Pontiff.


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