During an interview in Buenos Aires last year Pope Francis suggested the Catholic Church's rule that priests must be celibate "can change."
According to NBC news, the pontiff cited the married clergy of eastern churches as examples of "very good priests," and claimed that those asking for a change in Catholicism's celibacy rule do it with "certain pragmatism."
The Pope's open mind about the subject, however, doesn't mean that he's advocating for a change in the rules. But the fact that he's willing to discuss it is remarkable.
The National Catholic Reporter's Vatican analyst, Father Thomas Reese, said the Pope's remarks on celibacy were surprising given that "the last few popes have been pretty clear they were not open to changing it or having a discussion about it."
The former Jorge Bergoglio made the comments last year while he was the cardinal of Buenos Aires in Argentina.
Bergoglio's position regarding celibacy might stem from a time when he was "dazzled" by a woman. During the same interview, the then-cardinal shared a personal anecdote about his life in the seminary.
Though Bergoglio chose the church over the woman, he admitted not everyone has strength to do that.
As of now, the newly elected bishop of Rome favors maintaining the rule for the church has "ten centuries of good experiences rather than failures [with it]."
You can read Pope Francis' entire interview on Aleteia.org