Pope Francis open to allowing married priests in Catholic Church

Trevor Jackson
March 11, 2017

But CNN notes some married men are already allowed to become priests, including Protestant married priests who convert to Catholicism.

The church has typically enforced a practice known as clerical celibacy, through which clergy members who have assumed the role of priest or higher are expected to devote their life to God and sacrifice the possibility of getting married or starting a family.

The pope has been an active supporter of Colombia's peace process and has invited Colombian Catholics to continue working in favor of "dialogue and understanding" throughout the 10-year process that seeks to end more than half a century of violence.

He also spoke on the growing reduction in the number of priests saying it is bad for the Catholic church "because a Church without the Eucharist doesn't have strength - the Church makes the Eucharist, but the Eucharist also makes the Church".

The Vatican also confirmed the Pope would visit Colombia in September.

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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.

The Pope said the shortage of priests was a problem that needed to be tackled "fearlessly". His latest interview suggested a particular case in which the church could consider ordaining married priests, such as clergy in remote locations.

The bishop said the pope made it clear he would be open to ideas from the bishops as to how to address the problem, including ordaining married men, according to The Tablet, an worldwide Catholic newsweekly.

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

"I would certainly give it serious consideration", he said. Celibacy, he said, suggests to many Catholics that priests have almost superhuman spiritual gifts, to resist the normal human drive toward sexual and romantic relationships. "Then we must determine what tasks they can perform, for example, in remote communities", Francis said. "People have always liked pointing to their priests as somehow special people".

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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