A group of senior priests in Germany have called on the Roman Catholic Church to end the celibacy rule in priesthood.
In the letter, they wrote “We think, every Catholic should be allowed to choose if they would rather be celibate or not, regardless of whether they want to work as priests or not – just like in the Protestant Church or the Orthodox church, really, every church but the Catholic Church.”
To the group, celibacy causes many modern priests to suffer from seclusion and believe the men have little to gain from church-imposed solitude.
“What moves us is the experience of loneliness – as elderly people who are unmarried because our office required this from us, we feel it vividly on some days after 50 years on the job… We agreed to this clerical life because of our jobs, but we didn’t choose it,” the group wrote.
They also gave suggestions as to how the Catholic Church could “modernise”, including allowing women to join the clergy.
However, the office of Pope Francis is yet to react to the open letter