Cardinal Keith O’Brien, Britain’s Most Senior Catholic, Says Priests Should Be Able To Marry

Epigraph: Then We caused Our Messengers to follow in their footsteps; and We caused Jesus, son of Mary, to follow them, and We gave him the Gospel. And We placed in the hearts of those who accepted him compassion and mercy. But monasticism which they invented for themselves — We did not prescribe it for them — for the seeking of Allah’s pleasure; but they did not observe it with due observance. Yet We gave those of them who believed their due reward, but many of them are rebellious.” (Al Quran 57:28)

Source: Huffington Post

By Posted: 22/02/2013 20:01 GMT  |  Updated: 22/02/2013 21:44 GMT

Priests should be able to get married because they find celibacy “difficult”, Britain’s most senior Roman Catholic has said.

Cardinal Keith O’Brien is an outspoken critic of plans to legalise gay marriage and was named ‘bigot of the year’ by gay rights charity Stonewall.

But the leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland said he would be “happy” for weddings to be available for priests.

He was speaking to the BBC ahead of trip to Rome where he will help elect the next pope, after the resignation of Benedict XVI.

He said: “I’d be very happy if others had the opportunity of considering whether or not they could or should be married.

“It’s a free world and I realise that many priests have found it very difficult to cope with celibacy as they lived out their priesthood, and felt the need of a companion, of a woman, to whom they could get married and raise a family of their own.”

Cardinal O’Brien, 74, stood down from some frontline duties in the Catholic Church in Scotland last year due to his age.

He said that marriage was not considered when he was studying for the priesthood but that he would be happy to see it introduced.

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