Pope Francis Open to Allowing Married Men Become Priests


Pope Francis said he is open to the possibility of allowing married men perform priestly duties in remote areas where there are shortages of priests.

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Francis doesn't believe removing the Catholic Church's celibacy rule will solve the problem; however, he is interested in studying whether "viri probati" — or married men of proven faith — could do some of the tasks of a fully ordained priest.

"We must consider if viri probati is a possibility. Then we must determine what tasks they can perform, for example, in remote communities," he said in an interview with German publication Die Zeit.

The push for "viri probati" comes from Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes, who is a friend of Francis and the former head of the Vatican's office for clergy. In his country, which is largely Catholic, there is a dearth of priests. In the Amazon, for instance, the church counts one priest for every 10,000 Catholics.

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Francis also stated that while he prefers a celibate priesthood, the issue is up for discussion because celibacy is technically a discipline of the church, not of dogma.

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Raquel Reichard, Politics & Culture Editor

Raquel is the Politics & Culture Editor atLatina.com and Latina magazine, writing on all things policy, social justice, cultura and health. Formerly at millennial news site Mic, Raquel's work can also be found at the New York TimesCosmo for Latinas, the Washington Post, the Independent and more. A proud NuyoFloRican chonga, when Raquel's not talking Latina feminism, racial justice, the "x" in Latinx or the prison industrial complex, she's going on and on about the Puerto Rican diaspora in Orlando, Fla. Follow her on TwitterInstagram and Snapchat at @RaquelReichard.


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