The Pope Lays Down the Law on Celibacy
A shortage of priests has some calling for a loosening of the traditional restrictions, but Benedict makes clear it won't happen on his watch.
Pope Benedict XVI believes Catholicism is growing sick in its historic birthplace of Western Europe, where a shortage of priests is both a symptom and an aggravating condition. But the 79-year-old pope made clear Thursday that he does not think opening up the Church to a married priesthood is the cure. After a roundtable with top Roman Curia cardinals to discuss the case of renegade Zambian archbishop Emanuel Milingo, who was excommunicated in September for having ordained four married men, the Vatican publicly reaffirmed "the value of the choice of priestly celibacy."