Retired Pope Benedict XVI warns against celibacy change
Retired Pope Benedict XVI has issued a defence of priestly celibacy in the Catholic Church as his successor considers easing a ban on married men serving as priests.
Pope Benedict made the appeal in a book co-authored with Cardinal Robert Sarah.
It comes in response to a proposal to allow married men to be ordained as priests in the Amazon region.
In the book, Pope Benedict says celibacy, a centuries-old tradition within the Church, has “great significance” because it allows priests to focus on their duties.
The 92-year-old says “it doesn’t seem possible to realise both vocations [priesthood and marriage] simultaneously”.
It is rare for Pope Benedict, who was the first pontiff to resign in almost 600 years, to intervene in clerical matters.