Thumbs up for priests marrying

LISBON - Four in five people, or 80,3 percent, in predominantly Roman Catholic Portugal feel the Vatican should allow priests to get married, a poll published yesterday showed.

LISBON - Four in five people, or 80,3 percent, in predominantly Roman Catholic Portugal feel the Vatican should allow priests to get married, a poll published yesterday showed.

Only 15,5 percent oppose the measure, and the remaining 4,2 percent had no opinion, according to the survey published in daily newspaper Correio da Manha.

Support was widespread among practicing Catholics, 74,6 percent of whom came out in favour of allowing priests to marry.

"The official position of the Church on this issue does not coincide with what the vast majority of people, including practicing Catholics, think," sociologist Jorge Sa said.

Last month the Vatican rejected calls for the Roman Catholic Church to allow priests to marry after Pope Benedict XVI called a rare meeting with the top leaders of the Holy See administration to discuss the issue.

Advocates of allowing priests to marry say it would help reverse a global shortage of priests. - Sapa-AFP

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