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Cardinal O’Brien gives his backing to idea of married priests

Cardinal O'Brien (Photo: PA)

Cardinal Keith O’Brien, Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, has told the BBC that he would be “very happy” if married men had the option of entering the priesthood.

The cardinal, the only churchman from Great Britain eligible to attend the conclave, said: “There was a time when priests got married, and of course we know at the present time in some branches of the Church – in some branches of the Catholic Church – priests can get married, so that is obviously not of divine origin and it could get discussed again.

“In my time there was no choice and you didn’t really consider it too much, it was part of being a priest. When I was a young boy, the priest didn’t get married and that was it.

“I would be very happy if others had the opportunity of considering whether or not they could or should get married.”