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Pope: Priest 'Celibacy Is Not a Dogma'

And papal retirement could become more common

(Newser) - Sure, Catholic priests are usually celibate—but that tradition has only been around for about 1,000 years, Reuters notes. And according to Pope Francis, "celibacy is not a dogma." He tells reporters that "it is a rule of life that I appreciate very much and I... More »

Japan's Young People Don't Want Love ... or Sex

Nation with shrinking birthrate hit by 'celibacy syndrome'

(Newser) - Japan's young people are not very interested in dating ... but they're not very interested in casual sex, either. According to a 2011 study, 61% of unmarried Japanese men and 49% of women aged 18 to 34 are not in any kind of romantic relationship—a figure that's... More »

Pope's No. 2: Priest Celibacy Not Set in Stone

Says it's up for discussion, though it is an important tradition

(Newser) - While Pope Francis is off puttering around in a second-hand car , his soon-to-be secretary of state has been doing something even more controversial: talking about priestly celibacy. When he was asked about it by a Venezuelan newspaper, Archbishop Pietro Parolin said the matter was open to discussion. "Celibacy is... More »

Anti-Gay Cardinal: Let Catholic Priests Get Married

Keith O'Brien: It's 'difficult to cope with celibacy'

(Newser) - With a new pope on the way, Britain's most influential Catholic says the Vatican should let priests marry and have families, the Guardian reports. Spurning Catholic orthodoxy, Cardinal Keith O'Brien said that "many priests have found it very difficult to cope with celibacy," which "is... More »

Ancient Scrap of Papyrus Refers to Wife of Jesus

It also quotes him talking of a female disciple

(Newser) - Shades of the Da Vinci Code: A small scrap of fourth-century papyrus contains this potential bombshell of a line: “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife ...’" And a bit later, the text reads, "she will be able to be my disciple." A Harvard historian made... More »

TV Priest: I Fathered Child

Father Thomas Williams in religious order probed for sex abuse

(Newser) - A well-known priest who has authored several books and appeared on TV programs to discuss morality, God, and Catholic teachings has revealed he fathered a child. The revelation by Father Thomas Williams, who's a dean of papal morality at a university in Rome, is a new blow to his... More »

Dalai Lama Has Eye for the Ladies

But 'I never forget I'm a monk,' he adds

(Newser) - Turns out the Dalai Lama isn't on an entirely different astral plane than lots of men. He admits a beautiful woman can turn his head. "Do you ever feel temptation when you see a woman?" Piers Morgan asks his holiness in a CNN interview. "Oh, yes, sometimes... More »

LA Bishop With Secret Family Resigns

Auxiliary Bishop Gabino Zavala has two teenage children

(Newser) - A Los Angeles bishop has resigned after he revealed to his superiors that he has a secret family. Mexican-born Auxiliary Bishop Gabino Zavala, 60, is the father of two teenage children who live with their mother in another state, reports the BBC . LA Archbishop Jose Gomez said the archdiocese is... More »

TV Priest Bares Affair With Cuz

'Word in the World's' Michael Manning 'fesses up

(Newser) - A popular priest who leads a worldwide TV ministry is taking a leave from his California diocesan duties after revealing an affair with a second cousin. Michael Manning 'fessed up after a local newspaper received a series of intimate notes between Manning and his former lover, a schools superintendent from... More »

It's a Girl for Miami Priest

Father Alberto Cutié welcomes daughter with his wife

(Newser) - A popular Miami priest who left his Catholic order after admitting to a long-time affair is celebrating the birth of a baby girl with his wife. "With thanksgiving to God, the giver of all life, my wife and I announce the birth of our beautiful baby daughter, Camila Victoria... More »

Pope Begs Forgiveness Over Priest Sex Abuse

But he defends celibacy for clergy

(Newser) - Pope Benedict today asked "forgiveness from God" and the children abused by Catholic priests, and promised that the Catholic Church would "do everything possible to ensure that such abuse will never occur again." At a gathering of some 15,000 Catholic clergy in Rome to mark the... More »

Priests' Mistresses Ask Pope to Scrap Celibacy Rule

Nearly 40 write open letter to the Vatican

(Newser) - About 40 Italian women have written an unusual open letter to Pope Benedict asking him to end the church's celibacy rule for priests. The odd hook? All the women claim to have had (or are having) intimate affairs with priests or monks, reports GlobalPost , which talks to some of the... More »

Vatican: Blame Homosexuality, Not Celibacy for Abuse

Gay rights groups slam Bertone's remarks on church sex scandals

(Newser) - The Pope's second-in-command did little to calm the furor surrounding the Vatican sex-abuse scandals yesterday by insisting that homosexuality, not celibacy, is to blame for priests attacking children. Vatican secretary of state Tarcisio Bertone told reporters in Chile—where, AP notes, the highest-profile church scandals have involved priests abusing young... More »

Cardinal: Maybe Celibacy's Not Such a Great Idea

Vatican 'needs to look into source of sex scandals'

(Newser) - The Catholic church needs to take a long hard look at its celibacy policy in the wake of its seemingly endless sex scandals, an influential cardinal says. Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, the archbishop of Vienna, wrote in his archdiocese magazine last week that the Vatican should carry out an "unflinching... More »

14 Celibate Celebrities

Bad boy Colin Farrell gave it a shot, as did Jessica Simpson

(Newser) - Lady Gaga recently started touting celibacy —a shock considering her lyrics about disco-stick-riding—but she's not the only celebrity who's jumped on that particular bandwagon. The Daily Beast lists 14, some of whom will surprise you:
  • Jessica Simpson: Back when she was championing abstinence as a pop starlet, who
... More »

It's None of Gaga's Business Who You Shag

The lady, who says she has no time for sex, should stop giving advice

(Newser) - Lady Gaga—you know, the pop star who rarely wears pants and sings about her desire to “take a ride on your disco stick”—is touting safe sex, or at least safer sex, and Andy Pemberton is annoyed. Not at the message: What she said, at an AIDS... More »

10 Famous Sex Bans

Sometimes giving up sex is the surest way to success

(Newser) - A darts superstar (yes, darts) recently claimed a self-imposed sex ban is key to his success—and he’s not the only one who’s willingly cut himself off from the nookie. The Mirror takes a look at 10 other famous sex bans:
  • Sylvester Stallone: “There is only so
... More »

Kissing Priest Marries Galpal

(Newser) - In scarcely more than a month, Alberto Cutié has gone from celebrity priest to sex scandal poster boy to Episcopalian—now he can add boring old married guy to his resume, reports the AP. The Miami priest who left the Catholic Church amid a racy photo scandal married his secret... More »

'Father Oprah,' Fiancée Set Wedding Date

Former Catholic cleric plans Episcopalian nuptials

(Newser) - The onetime Catholic priest whose cavorting with his then-girlfriend led to his departure from the church is headed for the altar—as the groom. The Rev. Alberto Cutié, aka the "kissing priest," and his girlfriend of 2 years plan to wed this month in the Episcopal church,... More »

'Church Is About Forgiveness': Kissing Priest

'Father Oprah' gives first Episcopal sermon to standing ovation

(Newser) - His Catholic parish was scandalized when photos surfaced of the Rev. Alberto Cutié cavorting on the beach with a 35-year-old divorceé, but his new Episcopalian flock greeted his first sermon this morning with a standing ovation, reports the Miami Herald. From the altar of Miami’s Episcopal Church of the... More »

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