Leader of the Vatican, Pope Francis on Monday said that celibacy for
priests was a "gift to the church" and not "optional," cancelling the prospect of married men being ordained as priests.
"I don't think optional celibacy should be allowe.No" he told journalists aboard his plane returning to the Vatican from Panama.
The Vatican's number two, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, suggested in an interview last year that the church could "gradually look in depth" at the issue, while ruling out any "drastic change."
Equally, about 60,000 priests have given up their vow over the past few decades, often to marry.