German bishop clarifies Church is not planning to abolish celibacy

.- Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Muller of Ratisbona told reporters in Germany today that the Catholic Church does not intend to abolish clerical celibacy. “The Latin rite of the Catholic Church holds to the sensible union of the priesthood and the celibate life for love of the Kingdom of Heaven.  This is and will continue to be the Catholic Church’s discipline,” the bishop said, adding that celibacy will not be abolished “now or in the future.”

He said reporters had twisted the comments of Archbishop Robert Zollitsch of Freiburg about celibacy, saying that “in a fast interview all of the demands related to the issue of priesthood and celibacy cannot be satisfied.”

He went on to note that Vatican II clarified that the Church would continue to uphold the tradition of priestly celibacy.

According to the website Kath.net, Bishop Muller reiterated that “as bishops we are concerned about awakening vocations to the priesthood and striving to deepen the understanding of the spiritual dimension of the celibate life.”

Men who feel called to the priesthood and to the charism of this way of life in accord with the Gospel can be blessed as priests in the Catholic Church, “as long as the necessary requirements are met,” he said.

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