Pope Francis Wants to Consider Ordaining Married Men as Priests

Pope Francis Wants to Consider Ordaining Married Men as Priests

Pope Francis has said he may consider ordaining married men - under very specific circumstances - to address the shortage of Catholic priests.

"We must think about whether viri probati are a possibility". "We then also need to determine which tasks they could take on, such as in isolated areas, for example".

Francis said eliminating the church's celibacy rule is not the answer to the priest shortage, but said the idea of using married men could be helpful.

Campaigners for reform of ordination have, in the past, suggested that married men could supplement the clergy in carrying out priestly duties.

"Viri probati" means "men of proven quality", and usually refers to older married men with grown families. According to USA Today, Pope Francis said allowing men training to be priests to chose whether or not they will be celibate is "not the solution". The Pope says that the change of allowing married men to become priests is able to be talked about because it is a tradition, and not a dogma.

More news: Hilton Named to 2017 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® List

In the interview, Francis also confirmed Colombia was on his travel itinerary for 2017, as well as India and Bangladesh.

If the idea were studied and approved by the Catholic Church, it would be an extension of a provision the church already has to accommodate married priests in exceptional cases.

Mathew Schmalz, a professor of religion at College of the Holy Cross, said that if a married Catholic man like him could become a priest, he'd be interested.

A number of priests in the early days of the church including Peter, an apostle of Jesus and the first pope, were married as well, so the practice could easily be undone by Pope Francis.

Celibacy comprehends continence as a gift for God, allowing priests to be closer to Christ with their hearts undivided. Previous popes St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI both believed that priests needed to remain celibate.

Related Articles