Pope open to studying ordination of married men as priests

Pope Francis says the church should research whether or not it is potential to ordain married males to minister in distant communities dealing with priest shortages.

In an interview revealed Thursday with Germany’s Die Zeit, Francis harassed that eradicating the celibacy rule shouldn’t be the reply to the Catholic Church’s priest scarcity. However he expressed an openness to learning whether or not so-referred to as “viri probati” – or married males of confirmed religion – might be ordained.

“We should think about if viri probati is a risk. Then we should decide what duties they will carry out, for instance, in distant communities,” he was quoted as saying.

The “viri probati” proposal has been round for many years, nevertheless it has drawn recent consideration beneath historical past’s first Latin American pope thanks partially to his appreciation of the challenges dealing with the church in locations like Brazil, an enormous Catholic nation with an acute scarcity of clergymen.

Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes, a longtime pal of Francis and former head of the Vatican’s workplace for clergy, is reportedly urgent to permit viri probati within the Amazon, the place the church counts round one priest for each 10,000 Catholics.

Francis has proven specific openness to receiving concrete proposals for ordaining married males in addition to his personal pastoral concern for males who’ve left ministry to marry.

He has maintained friendship with the Argentine widow of a good friend who left the priesthood to marry, and he spent one in every of his Friday mercy missions final yr visiting with males who had left ministry to start out households. He has additionally stated that whereas he favors a celibate priesthood, celibacy technically may be up for dialogue since it is a self-discipline of the church, not a dogma.

The church permits some exceptions to the rule. Clergymen within the japanese ceremony Catholic Church are allowed to be married, as are married Anglican clergymen who convert to Catholicism.

Within the first main interview that Francis has given a German newspaper, the pope was requested whether or not he skilled moments by which he doubted the existence of God. He responded: “I, too, know moments of vacancy.”

However, he identified that durations of disaster are a chance to develop, saying a believer who does not expertise that is still “childish.”

Francis additionally repeated his warning of the risks of rising populism in western democracies, saying “populism is evil and ends badly because the previous century confirmed.”

Within the interview, Francis additionally confirmed Colombia was on his journey itinerary for 2017, in addition to India and Bangladesh. He dominated out Congo, which had been rumored, however talked about Egypt as a risk. Francis additionally lately stated he hoped to go to South Sudan.

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