Italy: Sicily governor makes up with priest after 'woman pope' spat
Crocetta also called for married priests, gay marriage
Palermo, March 20 - Centre-left Sicily Governor Rosario Crocetta on Wednesday said he had patched up a spat with the priest and personal confessor who disavowed him last week for saying the Church needed a woman pope, married priests and gay marriages. Crocetta, who is openly gay, said he had met Father Luigi Petralia, a parish priest in the governor's native Gela, "and we embraced".
"This affair belongs to the debate over ideas and the case is closed," said Crocetta, who compared himself to Galileo, the 17th-century Italian astronomer forced by the Church to deny his discovery that the Earth moved around the Sun, only to privately uphold it. The recently elected governor told private national TV channel L7 a week ago that in order to draw close to the public the Church needed "a woman pope, married priests and even to celebrate gay marriage".
Father Petralia described the comments as being those "of a showman rather than of a politician or a Christian politician" and said that they effectively placed Crocetta "outside the Catholic Church".
"They are very serious issues that have already been resolved within the Catholic Church, which does not expect answers from Crocetta, seeing as he is neither a biblical scholar nor a theologian, and that he does not hold any other title indicating competence in these matters," he wrote.
Petralia added that the governor could be forgiven in confession and return to the Church only if he showed sincere repentance for the comments.