"Before God - full of love and mercy - I ask for the forgiveness of those who may be hurt or saddened by my actions. Since I entered the seminary at the age of 18, the priesthood has brought me great joy. The commitment that I made to serve God will remain intact. I am grateful for the love and support I have received today from so many in our community, especially my parishioners and the supporters of the radio stations who have demonstrated great compassion and understanding toward me as a human being. I ask for your continued prayers and support."But, only days before the damaging photos appeared, Padre Alberto gave an interview with a Spanish-language TV program (see video below) in which he spoke out in favor of optional celibacy. He alluded to Cardinal Egan's recent statements on the subject, implying that it was easy to call for it after you were retired but that he was going to risk disciplinary action by advocating it while still in the priesthood. He said that the Church is far more concerned about sex than God is, that "some women like forbidden fruit", and that if celibacy were optional -- as he thinks it should be -- he would like to get married and have a family.
In conjunction with the articles about the issue, several newspapers conducted online polls on whether the celibacy requirement should be lifted. Here are the current results:
Should the Catholic Church reconsider celibacy for priest?
Yes: 1042 - 77%
No: 270 - 20%
Maybe: 33 - 2%
It is time to reconsider celibacy in the priesthood?
Yes: 3736 - 79.8%
No: 818 - 17.5%
I don't know: 126 - 2.7%