Pope Francis Calls Celibacy a 'Problem'
Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio became Pope Francis on Wednesday, a rainy and chilly day which did not discourage tens of thousands of people to gather in St. Peter's Square.
Despite the morning's black smoke and the pouring rain, tourists and faithful started gathering in St. Peter's from the early hours of the afternoon.By 6 p.m. the square was a patchwork of umbrellas of every size and color.
White or black? At 7:09 p.m. a stream of smoke began pouring from the Vatican chimney.
It was clearly white smoke, as shown on the large screens on the square.
Music spread in the square. A brass band made up of the Vatican gendarmerie played next to helmeted Swiss guards.
After French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran announced the name of Cardinal Bergoglio and said he had picked the name of Francis, all eyes were fixed at the burgundy draped balcony.
After a few minutes, Pope Francis emerged from behind the red curtains, looking vaguely stunned. Wearing the all-white vestments of the Catholic leader, he greeted the huge crowd: “Brothers and sisters, good evening. It seems the conclave went to the other side of the world to find a new pope."
Pope Francis reportedly suggested that the celibacy of Catholic priests was a problem, hinting that the marriage ban for priests could be lifted in the future, according to an interview with Italy's La Repubblica.
The pope also noted that some Eastern Catholic churches allow priests to marry, and that the celibacy rule for priests was enacted 900 years after the death of Jesus Christ.
“There definitely is a problem but it is not a major one. This needs time but there are solutions and I will find them," the pope told La Repubblica editor Eugenio Scalfari.
The Pope also said the sexual abuse of children was a "leprosy" and that "about 2 percent" of Catholic clergy are paedophiles. The Pope said he would confront the problem with "the severity it demands," reported the BBC.
The 90-year-old Scalfari does not record or take notes during interviews.
The Vatican responded, reported CBS News, by saying the interview was "the result of his memory as an expert journalist but not of a precise transcript of a recording nor of a revision from the part of the interested, to whom the words are attributed to."