(GUARDIAN) — Britain’s most senior Catholic has suggested Catholic priests should be able to marry and have children, saying the demand for celibacy was not of “divine origin”.
In one of the most significant breaks with Catholic orthodoxy, Cardinal Keith O’Brien said many priests found it “very difficult to cope” with the celibate life and suggested lifting that ban could soon happen in the wider church.
The cardinal suggested that the next pope could review the marriage ban for priests. Marriage is allowed in some cases within the church already. The English Catholic church has accepted married former Anglican priests, under a policy introduced in 2011 by the present pope, Benedict XVI.