World

Pope Francis signals elderly married men could become priests

Pope Francis has said he is willing to consider ordaining older married men in isolated communities, but has ruled out making priestly celibacy optional to tackle a shortage of clergy.

The shortage has prompted calls from some progressives to end the ancient tradition of celibacy for Roman Catholic priests

Such a move would represent revolutionary change for the Catholic Church and would likely face massive resistance.

Reformers, however, have long suggested that the Vatican could ordain "viri probati" Latin for men of proven character who tend to be older, with grown-up families if married.
In an interview with Germany's Die Zeit newspaper, the pope said this option could be considered.

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