In an interview with Die Zeit
, Pope Francis revealed he's considering allowing already married men to join the priesthood, CNN
reports. The possibility comes as the Catholic church faces an "enormous" priest shortage, especially in rural communities.
"We need to consider if 'viri probati' could be a possibility," Francis said, "viri probati" meaning married men of upstanding virtue. "If so, we would need to determine what duties they could undertake, for example, in remote communities."
The Pope has not, as of yet, condoned the right for current priests to get married, only for already married men to join the priesthood.
"Voluntary celibacy is not a solution," Francis said, meaning he doesn't see it working for priests choosing to remain celibate or to date and marry while operating as an ordained minister.
It's also important to note that some married men are already allowed to be priests, like members of the Anglican Church who have converted to Catholicism.