Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta

In What Capacity Does Archbishop Charles Scicluna Speak about Discussing Celibacy for a Second Time?

Addressing the issue of celibacy, Monsignor Scicluna insisted for the second time on the discussion of the ecclesiastical law of celibacy, considering according to him that not having it would be a means to prevent some clergy from living a double life.

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(ZENIT News / Roma, 04.02.2024).-For the second time in a month, Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta addresses the subject of priestly celibacy, putting into discussion.

The first time was on January 7 in “The Times” of Malta; the second in a podcast of an American media.

In reality, the specific context of the statements to the National Catholic Reporter’s podcast were made in the context of the 5th anniversary of the summit on sexual abuses called by Pope Francis in 2019, in which Presidents of Episcopal Conferences worldwide participated. The fruit of that summit was the ecclesiastical law “Vos Estis Lux Mundi,” which imposes obligations of information on cases of sexual abuses in the Church.

In regard to this first topic, the Archbishop of the capital of Malta said that “the fact that we have the law  doesn’t mean that we have fulfilled our duty,” adding that “we have a law that is an instrument, if we use it or not will not depend on the people that are in the leadership, but also on the communities.”

The Archbishop also pointed out  that, “if the Church doesn’t render account, it’s not synodal.” “I don’t think that a synodal Church is truly synodal, that is, that we walk together, if we are not concerned for one another and are not responsible for each other. “

Addressing the subject of celibacy, Archbishop Scicluna insisted on his discussion, considering — according to him — that not to hold the discussion would be a means to avoid the fact that some clergymen  live a double life. To tell the truth, he also said: “This does not intend to diminish the beauty of celibacy or the heroic commitment of the individuals that have accepted celibacy as a gift and live it: but, “it’s good that we discuss it,” he stressed.

One of the personalities that enjoys great media visibility, on his own, is the Bishop of Orihuela-Alicante, Monsignor José Ignacio Munilla. And he was one of the public critics  of the words of the Archbishop of Malta and Assistant Secretary of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith. On January 31, 2024, Monsignor Munilla published the following on X: “many of us Catholics would like to know if Monsignor Scicluna is making statements against the law of celibacy from his condition as member of the Holy See’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, or if he is doing so in a personal capacity. It’s to know where we stand!”

When EFE Agency interviewed the Prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith last January 13, about the assessment of another Cardinal regarding the Declaration Fiducia Supplicans, Cardinal Victor Fernández  answered: “Today there is enormous freedom to say anything, also inside the Church.” The observation is, in part, real. The place (and position) from where things are said can condition, orient and pressure topics to be discussed, even though the Pope has made it clear that, for him, they are not topics.


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Jorge Enrique Mújica

Licenciado en filosofía por el Ateneo Pontificio Regina Apostolorum, de Roma, y “veterano” colaborador de medios impresos y digitales sobre argumentos religiosos y de comunicación. En la cuenta de Twitter:, habla de Dios e internet y Church and media: evangelidigitalización."

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