He insisted that celibacy won’t be scrapped altogether, but said he sees a “question mark” over “whether it should be taken as a basic precondition for every priest.”

A prominent German archbishop advocated loosening celibacy rules for Catholic priests in comments published Thursday before a meeting of a German reform assembly, AP reports.

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, the archbishop of Munich, told the daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung that “it would be better for everyone to create the possibility of celibate and married priests.” His comments come as his diocese has been shaken by an independent report on the church’s handling of sexual abuse cases over decades, which faulted Marx and predecessors including retired Pope Benedict XVI.

Marx, a prominent reformist ally of Pope Francis, said last week that the church needs deep reform to overcome the “disaster” of sexual abuse.

“For some priests, it would be better if they were married — not just for sexual reasons, but because it would be better for their life and they wouldn’t be lonely,” he said in the newspaper interview. “We must hold this discussion.”

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