Pope Francis’s hints about reviewing the issue of priests getting married are said to be causing unease in some church circles, agency reports said yesterday, July 17, 2014.[pagebreak]Twice in three months, the Pope has talked about changes to the tradition of celibate priests, although he has never been precise about how exactly this could be reformed. On a flight back from his recent trip to the Middle East, he pointed out that there were already married priests in the Ukrainian Greek Catholic and Coptic Catholic churches.
« The door is always open, but we are not talking about it now as the order of the day, » the Argentine Pontiff said.
The European Federation of Married Catholic Priests estimates that over 100,000 former Catholic priests have gotten married over the years; about a quarter of the number of current priests.