MADRID, MAY 20, 2002 (´ first Cardinal in history says that "the Catholic Church is not ready at present for a Vatican Council III."

Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, made this statement in an interview with the Spanish newspaper ABC. At that time, Latin American and Spanish Catholic exponents were calling for a new Ecumenical Council.

Those theologians and Bishops Emeritus calling for Vatican III hope for a discussion on the discipline of celibacy for the Catholic Church of the Latin rite.

Salesian Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga, 59, a Bishop since 1978, and appointed Cardinal by John Paul II during the last Consistory, added: "I think Vatican II is about to reveal many things for the first time."

With reference to optional celibacy, the Cardinal spoke of his experience in Latin America. He said that the situation of his priests, both in terms of economics as well as willingness to be dedicated, recommends celibacy. The Cardinal explained that doing away with celibacy is not a solution, as is easily seen by "bad witnesses in some sects," who have married ministers.