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Published: Sat, March 11, 2017
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Pope Francis Hints At Allowing Married Priests

Pope Francis Hints At Allowing Married Priests

In an interview granted to German weekly newspaper die Zeit, by Pope Francis, he revealed that the Catholic church may be considering allowing married men become ordained as priests.

Francis is not interested in completely removing the Church's celibacy rule, but he said married men who are already involved in the church - called "viri probati" - could be useful.

"For some Catholics, this is like yet another example of things they have taken for granted about Catholicism that are now being reexamined", Schmalz said.

Francis, known for his progressive theological views since becoming pontiff in 2013, said the church should not fear change and should embrace new approaches in addressing major institutional issues such as a global lack of priests.

He said that voluntary celibacy - giving young priests an option - was "not a solution" to the question.

In other words, the Pope wants to look at whether very religious, already married men should be allowed to become priests.

Roman Catholic clergy have been expected to remain celibate since the 12 century when the Second Lateran Council in 1139, definitively passed a rule forbidding priests to marry.

The closest the Church has come to married priests are ordained deacons, laymen, usually married, who may perform all the duties of a priest with the exception of consecrating the Eucharist during Mass.

The pope's comment gives the impression that he's not talking about Western Europe, where there is less of a clergy shortage, said Monsignor Stephen Rossetti, a Catholic University of America professor who has written books on psychological care for priests.

This comes amid concerns there are not enough priests to serve remote areas with large Catholic populations, like the Amazon. The religion has a long tradition of not allowing married men to be priests.

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