In 2010, Pope Frances, then Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio was interviewed and he admitted to having a crush on a woman while he was in seminary. He also revealed that the celibacy rule “can change.”
The former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio’s comments were published in the Spanish book, “On the Heavens and the Earth. The Catholic Church’s news website “Aleteia” translated the book.
Pope Francis stated in the interview that, “I was dazzled by a girl I met at an uncle’s wedding. I was surprised by her beauty, her intellectual brilliance and, well, I was bowled over for quite a while.”
“I kept thinking and thinking about her. When I returned to the seminary after the wedding, I could not pray for over a week because when I tried to do so, the girl appeared in my head. I had to rethink what I was doing.”
When commenting on the Catholic Churches rule of celibacy, Pope Francis came across as open minded. At the time he gave the interview, Pope Francis was the Archbishop of Buenos Aires.
He said, “In the Western Church to which I belong, priests cannot be married as in the Byzantine, Ukrainian, Russian or Greek Catholic Churches. In those Churches, the priests can be married, but the bishops have to be celibate. They are very good priests.”
“In Western Catholicism, some organizations are pushing for more discussion about the issue. For now, the discipline of celibacy stands firm. Some say, with a certain pragmatism, that we are losing manpower. If, hypothetically, Western Catholicism were to review the issue of celibacy, I think it would do so for cultural reasons, as in the East, no so much as a universal option.”
“Now, if a priest tells me he got excited and that he had a fall, I help him to get on track again. There are priests who get on track again and others who do not.”
“The double life is no good for us. I don’t like it because it means building on falsehood. Sometimes I say, ‘If you cannot overcome it, make your decision.’”
Pope Francis isn’t asking for the celibacy to change right not. He said keeping the rule was good “because we have ten centuries of good experiences rather than failures. It’s a matter of discipline, not of faith. It can change.”
A Vatican analyst for the National Catholic Reporter, Father Thomas Reese said that he was “surprised by the remarks because the last few popes have been pretty clear they were not open to changing it or having a discussion about it.”
Be sure to check out Kelly’s other columns:
Austin Marriage Examiner
Austin Beauty Examiner
National Family and Parenting Examiner
Disease & Illness Examiner
National Sports Celebrity Examiner
Sex and Relationships Examiner
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