In a decision that has taken centuries, Pope Francis today became the first Pope to allow all men of the cloth to marry. The Pontiff went on to state that the ruling is also applicable to nuns. In a dramatic turnaround of a Vatican policy which many have blamed for the embarrassing sex scandals which have plagued the Catholic Church in the past, the leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics, writing on the Vatican's official website said:
"I was just going through the Bible this morning and reading the book of Matthew in which Jesus said in chapter 19, verse 5: "For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and shall cleave to his wife and they twain shall be one flesh." I was in shock. I have never read that part of the scriptures before. What I found even more astonishing was when I read Matthew 1:25 in the King James Version and it said that Joseph knew Mary not until after Jesus was born. I went back to the Old Testament in the book of Genesis and it said in chapter 4, verse 1 that Adam knew Eve his wife and she conceived and bore Cain. That one hit me like a thunderbolt."
The Holy Father continued:
"I finally made the connection. Mary never remained a virgin. It took a while for the truth to finally soak in. It then dawned on me that we have been doing these men of the cloth a grave injustice for centuries by not allowing them to do what the Lord commanded. It is morally wrong to deny someone the right to release their pent up sexual energies. So it is with great pleasure, pardon the pun, that I announce that as of today, all men of the cloth and nuns will be able to marry. Not necessarily to each other, but to a partner of the opposite sex whom they truly love, who is very religious and with whom they will be able to engage in sexual intimacy."
The historic ruling by the Argentine-born Pontiff was met with adulation from many members of the Catholic Church who praised the move as a sign that the Church was finally changing with the times. Some traditional Catholics however are not too pleased with the ruling. One elderly gentleman going by the name Luigi di Bianchi who is 74 years-old, in an interview with Centro Televisivo Vaticano said:
"So the priests are going to get married eh? What would happen one Sunday if I turn up for Mass and Mr. newly-wed priest decides that he is going to take that day off to make up for all those years of sexual repression?"