Pope Francis wants to change two major Catholic laws he sees as 'archaic'
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In a private conversation with his longtime friend from Buenos Aires, Oscar Crespo, Pope Francis reportedly revealed his plans to change important "archaic" parts of the Catholic rules. Crespo claims the Pope intends to overturn the "centuries-old ban" on Catholic priests from getting married and to lift the banishment of divorcees from the Catholic church.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - As it stands now, Catholic priests take a vow of celibacy and cannot be married. The Catholic church simply does not accept divorce, and anyone divorced, who then remarries or starts a sexual relationship with a new person, is committing adultery under Catholic law.
"He said, these were his priorities as Pope. The first of all is to change the rules for divorced couples," claims Crespo on his conversation with Francis. "The second was to eliminate the law of celibacy. He said it was not part of the doctrine of the church. It was started more than 1,000 years ago by a pope, and he considers it archaic, an antiquity which needs to be reconsidered."
"He thinks God made everyone to live in family, including priests."
According to devout Catholic and divorcee, Claudia Garcia Larumbe, she was divorced at the age of 31 and no longer allowed to participate in her Catholic church activities, such as Communion and confession, because she was now considered to be living in adultery.
Larumbe heard Crespo was going to visit the Pope and asked him to send a message to Francis. "I said I wanted to be part of the church, I wanted to be able to confess, but I wasn't able to because I had divorced. I just wanted some advice, but I never expected to get an answer back," expressed Larumbe to Daily Mail. "But when Oscar got back he called me and said he had spoken personally with the Pope and that he had given me permission himself. I was speechless and so emotional, I couldn't believe I'd got a message directly from the Pope."
Pope Francis has spoken out against a number of issues; this is not the first time information on the Pope's feelings toward Priest marriage and divorce have been recorded.
In May he is reported as saying celibacy is "a gift for the church, but since it is not a dogma, the door is always open," and that the issue of married priests is in his "diary."
Crespo is considered the Pope's best friend and former secondary school classmate; the two men correspond often and Crespo made a special visit to Rome to see his friend in October.
Crespo claims the pontiff was "serious and passionate" as they discussed his "two main plans"
However Crespo points out Francis "does not intend to force through radical reforms at the expense of church unity." "Changes are made either with time or with blood, and I choose peace," Francis is quoted as saying, according to Crespo.
Although Pope Francis has previously expressed his sentiment on the mentioned topics, the conversations and details provided by his friend, Crespo were from a private conversation that should not be taken as any part of his teachings.
"The Synod on the Family is in course so the issue [of the divorced in new relationships] is being addressed. The Pope has already said what he has to say on the divorced - remarried at the Synod last October and the issue will be discussed again at this year's Synod," explained Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi. "We don't know what the Pope may have said as part of a private conversation. We only know what he says in public. Since such conversations do not form part of the Pope's public activities, no comments from the press office should be expected.
Such conversations should be seen in the context of personal pastoral relationships."
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