(03/10/2017) Pope Francis says he’s open to the possibility of ordaining married men as Catholic priests.
In a move that could transform the Catholic church, the Pontiff made the suggestion in an interview with a newspaper in Germany published this week. The Pope says ordaining married men could make up for the serious shortages of priests in remote areas of the globe. He called it an “enormous problem” that must be resolved. But, the Pope stressed that he has ruled out making priestly celibacy optional. He says the church values celibacy as a heavenly gift that frees priests to devote their lives fully to serve God.
This is creating mixed reactions among Catholics, as this is major shift within the church. Pope Francis is consider married me as Catholic priests who have “proven character” and have grown-up families.
Mary Landreth from New York commenting, saying “I think it would be wonderful because I think people who need counseling and understanding from a priest, a priest should know what married people’s problems are.”
The Pontiff says he would be wiling to consider it in isolated communities as a way to deal with the church’s current clergy shortages. The Pope has ruled out opening the idea to priesthood for all married men, and, said he would not support making celibacy optional for priests.
Between 1980 and 2012, the world’s Catholic population increased about 57%. However, the number of priests decreased by 17%. So far, a number of prominent progressive conservative Catholic leaders are supporting the idea.