According to reports by CNN, Pope Francis has said he is
open to married men becoming priests to
combat the Roman Catholic Church’s shortage
In an interview with German newspaper Die Zeit,
Pope Francis said the lack of Catholic priests
was an “enormous problem” for the Church, and
indicated he would be open to a change in the
rules governing eligibility for the priesthood.
“We need to consider if ‘viri probati’ could be a
possibility,” he said. “If so, we would need to
determine what duties they could undertake, for
example, in remote communities.”
Viri probati is the Latin term for “tested men” or
married men of outstanding faith and virtue.
The option would allow men who are already
married to be ordained as priests. But single
men who are already priests would not be
allowed to marry, according to the Pope.
“Voluntary celibacy is not a solution,” he said.
The question that remains unanswered is whether married women can as well be ordained Rev. Sisters in the spirit of this change?