Pope Francis was ‘dazzled’ by girl, spoke of possible change to celibacy rule

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Pope Francis

Pope Francis opened up in an interview last year about a young woman he had been infatuated with in the past, and even discussed that the priest celibacy rule “can change”.

The interview was given while he was archbishop of Buenos Aires, and was transcribed by the Catholic news website Aleteia.  Then-Cardinal Bergoglio claimed to have been ‘dazzled’ by a girl he met at his uncle’s wedding, and was ‘bowled over’ by her beauty and intellectual brilliance.  “I kept thinking and thinking about her,” he said.  “When I returned to the seminary after the wedding, I could not pray for over a week because when I tried to do so, the girl appeared in my head.”

Pope Francis added that the celibacy rule ‘can change’ although he is “in favor of maintaining celibacy, with all its pros and cons.”  He added that priests who cannot “get back on track” after breaking their vow should leave the church.

Breaking the celibacy rule with another consenting adult is quite different than with a child, and Francis encouraged zero tolerance for pedophiles within the church.  But he refused to make the link between the recent scandals and the vow of celibacy itself.

“The idea that pedophilia is a consequence of celibacy is ruled out . . . if a priest is a pedophile, he is so before he is a priest.”


  • l. gonzalez

    If I were that girl, I would be enchanted by this revelation. And I admire Pope Francis for his honesty, for his humanity, and for him as a person–that he felt these things, apparently resolved the issues, and was forthright to himself, and, now, the world.

  • Robert

    There are a lot of people out there who are antichrist and will try to destroy the Catholic Church, I only believe in the Roman Catholic Church and their teaching. I see in some places here in the US there are a lot of churches that don’t always help the poor; like these privately run churches and these Pastors who are allowed to marry and have kids they collect donations for their church and just spend it on themselves and can buy a very expensive house and spend it on their kids to be spoiled. The Catholic Priest on the other hand since they are not allowed to be married or have kids, they don’t spend it on themselves and go on lavish spending sprees, they spend it on the poor and help with donations and etc. then when the Priest dies the donation money gets pasted down to the next priests and stays for the church and what ever contribution that they want to contribute to. Sometimes there will always be a few bad apples in our world that will run the church as sinners, and there will be imperfect people in our world. But God shows that with His Grace His Church will stand the test of time. I think it’s easy to want to hold God accountable to the actions of people but we can’t because He gave us “free will.” We can hold people accountable to God, but we can’t hold God accountable to people.

    I think they picked a good Pope, Pope Francis was almost chosen last time and was 2nd before Pope Benedict. We don’t know much about him, but eventually we will get to know what kind of guy he is. They are saying he’s for the poor and loves to help them as much as he can and follows the principle teaching of the bible. In Argentina he would always take the bus, and pays for everything out of his own pocket. I hope he will continue to do the same as a Pope, and carry on the moral standards as Pope John Paul II has done. Hopefully Pope Francis can convert more people to the Catholic Faith. Sometimes I always wonder why isn’t the Catholic Religion the only religion that should be practiced around the world? But then again if we all lived under only one religion we wouldn’t have so many different cultures around us and perhaps it would be a boring world? What annoys me the most are how some people who are not of Catholics faiths and are of other faiths sometimes say that the Vatican Church is a place of antichrist and shouldn’t exist because they (Catholics) don’t believe in God. I always respond to them and tell them that not a lot of people realize that The Vatican Church is the resting place where Saint Peter the Apostle of Jesus Christ and also the first pope / Vicar of Christ is buried at. Saint Peter is the closest person to whom one had contacted Jesus Christ, and is one of the twelve apostles of Jesus; so it is rightfully a place that should be respected by everyone who believes in God. They always look at me like a deer in the headlights and then start to backpeddle their words and say things like really? I didn’t know that? So if anyone ever tries to tell you something bad about the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church, you tell them about who was the first Pope at the Vatican, and why they carry on the tradition at the Vatican.

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