Cardinal Edward Egan, outgoing Archbishop of New York, said today that priestly celibacy is not a closed issue and is "a perfectly legitimate discussion."
"I think it's going to be looked at, and I am not so sure it wouldn't be a good idea to decide on the basis of geography and culture not to make an across-the-board determination," the cardinal told Fred Dicker, state editor of the N.Y. Post and host of the Fred Dicker Show on 1300 Talk Radio in Albany.
Cardinal Egan, who made the comments during a 30-minute interview on Dicker's radio show while in Albany March 10 for the New York State Catholic Conference's annual Public Policy Day, said that many Eastern Rite Catholic Churches allow married priests with "no problem at all."
"Is it a closed issue? No, that's not a dogmatic stand," he said, when Dicker asked if he had "any hesitancy about priestly celibacy."
The cardinal said his inability to reverse the downward trend in priestly vocations was his "greatest disappointment" as archbishop. During the interview, he also addressed the Church's legislative priorities on issues such as abortion, same sex marriage and education. He told Dicker that he felt the Church was winning the battle of public opinion on abortion thanks to sonogram technology, but losing the battle on the same sex marriage front due to a well-funded PR campaign by proponents.
To hear the entire interview, click here. Go to the March 10 show. Cardinal Egan was on the second half of the one-hour show. His comments on celibacy came at the very end of his 30-minute interview.