Vatican City, Jan 13, 2020 / 07:01 am
A Vatican spokesman said Monday that Pope Francis’ position on priestly celibacy is “known,” quoting the pontiff’s remarks in a January 2019 press conference, in which he said he does not agree with making priestly celibacy “optional” in the Latin rite.
The statement by Holy See Press Office Director Matteo Bruni was issued Jan. 13 and was said to be in response to questions from journalists “regarding a recent editorial initiative.”
The initiative referred to is a newly announced book on priestly celibacy and the crisis in the Church and priesthood, co-authored by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Cardinal Robert Sarah, who is head of the pope’s liturgical office.
In his statement, Bruni quoted Pope Francis’ comments aboard the papal plane to Rome from Panama Jan. 28, 2019, in which he said “personally, I think that celibacy is a gift to the Church. I would say that I do not agree with allowing optional celibacy, no.”