Pope Francis said yesterday that he is working on a “solution” to the issue of celibacy for priests.
Speaking to Italy’s La Repubblica daily, Francis also condemned child sex abuse as a “leprosy” in the Church and cited his aides as saying that “the level of paedophilia in the Church is at two percent”. “That two percent includes priests and even bishops and cardinals,” he said. Asked whether priests might one day be allowed to marry, Francis pointed out that 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.