Why the Catholic Church may allow married men to become priests
A shortage of priests in some areas has compelled the Roman Catholic Church to reconsidered having married men ordained for priesthood.
In an interview with German newspaper Die Zeit, Pope Francis on Friday said the lack of Catholic priests was becoming a huge problem adding that he would be open to making changes in the requirements for priesthood.
“We need to consider if ‘viri probati’ could be a possibility, if so, we would need to determine what duties they could undertake, for example, in remote communities,” said the Pope.
Viri probati is the Latin term for “tested men” or married men of outstanding faith and virtue.
Catholic Priests have always been required to be celibate in line with some passages in the Bible.
However, Pope Francis clarified that those already in priesthood will remain celibate and the proposal would only apply to married men in areas that require priests.
The Roman Catholic Church believes priests should not marry as they act “in persona Christi” (in the person of Christ) and should therefore be celibate, like Christ.
The Pope’s statement has elicited mixed reactions among the Catholic faithfuls.
#PopeFrancis Great! Pope open to ordain married male priests. Now pray Pope opens his eyes & heart to female priests married or single
— myownsong.org (@TerryMosholder) March 10, 2017
Would you support Catholic Church rule change that would allow for married priests? @NBCPhiladelphia
— Tim Furlong (@tfurlong) March 10, 2017
— Tim Sanville (@ForTheGlory_) March 10, 2017
— Mitch (@mitch_won) March 10, 2017