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Pope's deputy says celibacy is 'not a dogma of the Church'

The recently appointed Vatican Secretary of State said that the issue is a great challenge for the Pope.

File photo of Pietro Parolin.
File photo of Pietro Parolin.
Image: MVT/AP/PA

THE RECENTLY APPOINTED Secretary of State for the Vatican, Pietro Parolin, has said that the issue of celibacy is up for discussion but that it is a great challenge for the Pope.

In an interview with Venezuelan newspaper El Universal, Parolin said that celibacy is “not a dogma of the Church and can be discussed because it is a church tradition”.

“It is a great challenge to the Pope because he has the ministry of unity and all such decisions should be assumed as a way to unite the Church, not to divide,” he said.

Then you can talk, reflect and elaborate on these issues that are not defined faith and think of some modifications, but always in the service of the unit and all in the will of God. It’s not what I like but to be faithful to what God wants for his Church.

58-year-old Parolin was appointed to his new role, as the Vatican’s head of government, at the start of this month and he is considered the most important figure in the Church after the Pope himself. He had previously been stationed in Venezuela as the Vatican’s ambassador.

Speaking of corruption, he said it is one of the “great challenges in Latin America”. “This is a fundamental point on which you want to work because corruption kills societies and states,” he added.

His response on the subject of punishment for paedophilia within the Church was brief, asserting that the Pope is in line with what was done from the time of Benedict XVI- “take a strong stance and especially to the victims, to prevent the recurrence of these events.”

“I imagine that was not easy,” Parolin said.

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