Pope Francis responded today to statements by his predecessor Benedict XVI. Benedict writes in a book that comes out on Wednesday that celibacy is sacred within the church and that this should not be altered.
A spokesperson for Francis said today that the pope is entirely behind celibacy.
After countless cases of abuse by priests all over the world in recent years, the call is getting louder both inside and outside the church to end the age-old ban on marriage for priests.
The current pope said last year that married men should also be able to become priests in remote areas where there is a lack of priests.
In October, the Bishop’s Synod in the Vatican also called for the ordination of married men in exceptional cases. The intention is to close the enormous priesthood shortage in some regions.
This immediately met with fierce criticism from conservative clergy. They fear that such a move could ultimately mean the total abolition of celibacy.