The Vatican says a plan to allow married Anglican priests to convert to Catholicism does not mean it is abandoning its centuries-old celibacy rule.
Last month the Vatican announced it was relaxing certain rules on admitting converts, to make it easier for conservative Anglicans to join. Some Anglicans are strongly opposed to liberalising trends within the Anglican Church in recent years, such as the ordination of gay bishops and women priests. The Vatican has opened its doors to them through a papal text called the “Apostolic Constitution”, which will allow large groups of Anglicans, including married priests, to join. The move has renewed debate among Roman Catholics about lifting the ban on clerical marriage. But the Vatican has indicated it is not changing its position.