Pope Francis open to ‘married’ Catholic men becoming priests?

New York [U.S.], Mar. 11 : Pope Francis has hinted at being okay to married men becoming priests, in order to tackle the shortage of the Roman Catholic Church's clergy.

The Roman Catholic Church firmly believes that priests should not marry based on certain passages in the Bible, and because it also believes that the priest acts 'in the person of Christ' and should therefore be celibate like Christ.

In an interview with German newspaper Die Zeit, Pope Francis said the lack of Catholic priests was an "enormous problem" for the Church, and signaled that he would be open to a change in the rules governing eligibility for the priesthood, reports CNN.

"We need to consider if 'viri probati' could be a possibility. If so, we would need to determine what duties they could undertake, for example, in remote communities," he said.

Viri probati is the Latin term for "tested men" or married men of outstanding faith and virtue. The Pope, however, clarified that the option would only allow men who are already married to be ordained as priests, but single men who are already priests would not be allowed to marry.

"Voluntary celibacy is not a solution," he said..

Source: ANI