Fleabag's Hot Priest applauds possibility of pope ending celibacy

The “Hot Priest” just got a whole lot more accessible.

Andrew Scott, who’s become famous for playing the sexy clergyman on Fleabag, applauded Pope Francis for recently hinting that Catholic priests might be allowed to marry. “The pope has just come out this week talking about opening up the discussion about allowing priests to get married, which I really welcome,” Scott said on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Although there’s no official doctrine barring Catholic priests from marrying, it’s been effectively banned for centuries. Adding that he grew up in Ireland, which has seen a dwindling of priests, Scott said allowing priests to get married would improve their numbers. Colbert responded that he would have considered joining the clergy if he were allowed to wed.

While Pope Francis has not advocated for a ban on celibacy, he has suggested the unwritten rule could change. Over the weekend, the pope opened a Vatican synod, or an assembly of bishops, to “identify new paths for the evangelization of God’s people” in the Amazon. Among the topics listed to be discussed is whether to allow certain married men to be ordained as priests. The question itself has been a subject of intense controversy, with some conservative Catholics warning the topic could cause a schism in the church.

Season 2 of Fleabag might have ended up quite differently if the romance between Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s protagonist and Scott’s priest wasn’t forbidden. A taboo dalliance is steamy, sure, but the Emmy-winner made it clear on Saturday Night Live this weekend that there’s a different reason why everyone is pining for the Hot Priest.

“We boiled it down and realized he was doing this one thing: listening. Really, really listening. Try it, guys,” Waller-Bridge joked in her opening monologue.

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