The news of the Pope opened to discussions on allowing married men to become priests has brought mixed feelings and criticisms even before the decision will be reached. For close to 22 hours since the CNN interview and report, many have worried about this change of teachings.“In an interview with German newspaper Die Zeit, Pope Francis said the lack of Catholic priests was an “enormous problem” for the Church, and indicated he would be open to a change in the rules governing eligibility for the priesthood.
“We need to consider if ‘viri probati’ could be a possibility,” he said. “If so, we would need to determine what duties they could undertake, for example, in remote communities.”
Viri probati is the Latin term for “tested men” or married men of outstanding faith and virtue.
The option would allow men who are already married to be ordained as priests. But single men who are already priests would not be allowed to marry, according to the Pope.
“Voluntary celibacy is not a solution,” he said.
This message or piece of news is therefore for people like us who missed the opportunity and might have another chance of becoming a priest while married. The debate does not target priests becoming married but rather married people who want to become priests.
This is to match up with the lack of priests to handle the uncrowded churches in Europe.
In the scandinavian countries, some parishes are forced to merge with others due to lack of priests and some are obliged to get either a married deacon for services or a catechist to carry out services. The case is different in Africa as many still rush for priestly vocations.
Would it be better to ordain Rev sisters as priests or accept married people become priests?
Shey Tatah Sevidzem