Vatican to consider ordaining married men as priests
A document released by the Vatican on Monday proposes that the Roman Catholic Church will consider ordaining married men as priests.
The New York Times reports the move is being considered to address the dire pastoral need in some areas of the Amazon. However, the document states that only “viri probati” — Latin for men of proven character — would be considered.
“While affirming that celibacy is a gift for the church,” the proposal states, “there have been requests that, for the most remote areas of the region, the possibility of conferring priestly ordination on elderly men is discussed.”
Currently, priests in the Catholic Church must adhere to a vow of celibacy.
The document says, “Communities have difficulty in celebrating the Eucharist frequently due to the lack of priests. For this reason, instead of leaving the communities without the Eucharist, the criteria of selection and preparation of the ministers authorized to celebrate it should be changed.”
The matter is set for debate at a planned synod of bishops at the Vatican in October.
It’s not the first time the Catholic Church has consider married men as priests. In 2011, Pope Benedict XVI allowed the ordination of select married Anglican priests who converted to the Catholic Church.
In The Pontifical Yearbook 2019, the Vatican reports that out of a world population of 7.4 million, 1.3 million — or 17.7% — are baptized Catholics. However, the same statement says “the number of candidates to the priesthood worldwide has decreased from 116,160 in 2016 to 115,328 in 2017, a drop of 0.7 percent.”
Chris Pastrick is a Tribune-Review digital producer. You can contact Chris at 412-320-7898, [email protected] or via Twitter .