Married men’s ordination open for consideration
Married men’s ordination could be considered as a solution to the lack of vocations, Pope Francis says.
In his first ever interview with a German newspaper yesterday, Francis discussed his attitude to the consecration of married men.
He said the shortage of priests around the world is an “enormous problem” that must be resolved.
At the same time though, he said “Voluntary celibacy is not the answer” to resolving the lack of clergy.
Instead, he stressed the importance of prayer to overcome the vocations crisis.
If the current regulation of celibacy for priests were changed and married men were considered, Francis said those selected would need to be viri probati, married men proven in faith and virtue.
The tasks these men would undertake would also need to be decided, he said.
The Church already allows some married non-Catholic clergymen who become Catholics to be ordained priests.
Furthermore, in some places – like Mexico – married deacons, selected by their bishops, are filling the roles of priests in areas where there are none.
Here is the latest news of Pope Francis dealing with the prospect of fewer priestly vocations in the Roman Catholic Church. In his interview with a German news source, the Pope raises the possibility of including married men amongst the candidates for priestly ordination in the Catholic Church.
Of course, there are already married men serving in Roman Catholic parishes around the world – including those ex-Anglican priests who renounced their Anglican Orders to be re-ordained in the Catholic Church; mostly on the issue of women being ordained in the Anglican Churches.
That Pope Francis is determined to bring renewal to the Catholic Church in ways that are decidedly uncomfortable for some of its conservatives is now becoming more obvious. Here is one indication of the unrest being stirred up by a small clique of U.S. conservatives, rallying support against the Supreme Pontiff – a now unknown but rarely exhibited form of protest:
Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, new Zealand