The age-old practice of priestly celibacy is now under fire, with the suggestion that the rules should be relaxed.
Pope Francis has discouraged homosexual men from entering priesthood. Prior to the 12th century, even celebrated priests could write about same-sex desires and the church paid little attention.
Pope Francis recently confirmed that clergy members abused nuns. Since the early days of monasticism, the presence of nuns led to restrictions that limited contact between men and women.
In the Catholic understanding, priesthood is not simply a job that a someone can be fired from. Ordination is a deeply spiritual ceremony that is believed to transfer the power of the Holy Spirit.
On Oct. 31, 1517, a German monk, Martin Luther, started the Protestant Reformation. Its impact went far beyond the split in the Church that most people are familiar with.
Early Christians were open to marriage for priests. It wasn't until the 12th century that celibacy became mandatory in the Catholic Church.
Pope Francis recently acknowledged that the Catholic Church is struggling to recruit new priests, endangering its very future. Why don't people want to join the clergy?
The Pope hasn't actually opened the door for married priests. But in rethinking celibacy, he has shown his mastery of the art of containing people without actually making big changes to the Church.