Mary McAleese calls for end of celibacy

FORMER President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, has said there will be no priests left in the Western world in 30 years’ time unless the Catholic Church ends celibacy and the bar on married priests.

Ms McAleese, currently chancellor of Trinity College Dublin, made the comments after Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, an adviser to Pope Francis and highly influential figure within the Vatican, suggested revising the requirement that priests be celibate.

“If it were up to me, I would revise the requirement that priests have to be celibate. Experience has shown me that this is something we need to seriously think about,” Archbishop Scicluna told the Malta Times newspaper.


“This is probably the first time I’m saying it publicly and it will sound heretical to some people.”

An entirely new group of eligible, younger, men are needed, Ms McAleese said, warning that if the status quo is maintained the church will be “looking at the western world in 30 years where there will not be any priests”.

“I am delighted he came out and said it because he is regarded very, very highly by pretty much everybody in the church,” she told the Irish News newspaper.

Ms McAleese also said proposals to allow older men to become priests or for ones to return “does not really solve anything”.

Archbishop Scicluna’s comments come after a Vatican ruling earlier this month allowing priests to bless same-sex and unmarried couples

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