Pope opposes making priestly celibacy optional

The Pope said he opposes making priestly celibacy optional, he may consider allowing married men to be ordained priests in remote areas.

Speaking to journalists on the flight back from World Youth Day, the Pope said he would not allow optional celibacy in the Latin Church in a way similar to the practice of the Eastern Catholic churches.

“In the Eastern rite, they can do it. They make the choice between celibacy or marriage before they’re ordained into the diaconate,” he said. “When it comes to the Latin rite, a phrase said by St. Paul VI comes to mind: ‘I would rather give my life than change the law on celibacy.’”

The Pope said he believes that “celibacy is gift to the Church”, “My decision is: no optional celibacy,” the Pope said. “I will not do this. I don’t feel like I could stand before God with this decision.”