From the latest La Repubblica interview:
Asked whether priests might one day be allowed to marry, Francis pointed out celibacy was instituted ‘900 years after Our Lord’s death’ and that clerics can marry in some Eastern Churches under Vatican tutelage.’There definitely is a problem but it is not a major one. This needs time but there are solutions and I will find them,’ Francis said, without giving further details.
It is hard to determine what to make of this brief remark other than its tone sounds as if the Pope views celibacy as a late addition to the Faith that could be dispensed with. There is no mention in the remark of the long struggle in the West over celibacy dating at least from the fourth century, with celibacy being raised up as an ideal for the clergy centuries before it was imposed as a requirement. Of course taking in mind Father Lombardi’s admonition, read it here, that we are not to take any of the interview as precisely what the Pope said, it is hard to comment on something he might not have said. Assuming that Father Lombardi’s statement is correct as to the reliability of the interview, one is left wondering why the Pope has given three interviews to this journalist and why the Pope does not insist upon reading the text of the report of the interview before it is published. PopeWatch longs for the days, and how distant they seem, when if a Pope was misquoted, the Vatican would note precisely what the Pope did say.