Melbourne: Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, had as a young priest, signed a memorandum suggesting Vatican to relax celibacy rules.
He reportedly thought it would attract more people to become priests.
According to AdelaideNow, Father Brian Lucas, general secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, said there was a range of opinions on the matter.
He said the present mind of the Vatican was to keep the current practice, despite a perceived shortage of priests.
"Shortage is a relative term,” news.com.au quoted Father Lucas as saying.
"The discipline and practice of celibacy would be an obstacle for some. Others see it as important," he said.
In a similar tone, Father Dean Marin, director of vocations for the Adelaide Archdiocese, said the priesthood was a way of life.
“By remaining celibate, the priest witnesses to the possibility of living totally for God,” he said.
First Published: Monday, February 07, 2011, 12:45