Drop celibacy rule for priests, says top adviser to Pope Francis

Charles Scicluna, the archbishop of Malta, makes first plea in public to change rules
Scicluna, right, in 2018
Scicluna, right, in 2018

Catholic priests should be allowed to marry, a senior Vatican official has said, reopening a debate that has troubled the Pope.

Charles Scicluna, the Maltese archbishop who advises the Pope, said it was time to “seriously” discuss the idea of dropping the Catholic Church’s insistence that priests remain celibate.

“Why should we lose a young man who would have made a fine priest, just because he wanted to get married? And we did lose good priests just because they chose marriage,” said Scicluna.

“This is probably the first time I’m saying it publicly and it will sound heretical to some people,” the archbishop told The Times of Malta, adding that he had spoken out on his views at the Vatican.

An adjunct secretary in the