UK    ARCHBISHOP SAYS CELIBACY RULE 'CAN CHANGE'
Archbishop Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, leader of Catholics in England and Wales, has told the Guardian newspaper that celibacy for priests is a discipline that could be changed.
   Pointing out that the Church has already accepted married Anglican clergy who have left the Church of England, Archbishop Murphy-O'Connor said: "Disciplines can change. When a priest accepts celibacy when he is ordained that rule should be kept. But is it (marriage) incompatible with priesthood? The answer is obviously no. I would not rule it out."
   Archbishop Murphy-O'Connor also said he did not believe traditional Christian faiths had become irrelevant to people today. "I don't think these are particularly bad times for the Church in this country. People are going to be Christians these days because they really believe, not because their parents were," he said.
   He said the Church and her clergy must adapt to changing cultural conditions and look at them as opportunities. "The Church must always reform and there is always room for development but there is a heritage handed down which the Church must always be sensitive to. It has to relate its faith to changing conditions, times and cultures. It cannot be static or fundamentalist, nor liberal, but must be faithful as it marches on its pilgrim way. It has to teach truths in different circumstances."
   
CWN
3/5/00

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