Pope's comments on married clergy as much about labor as theology

It is thought the option could allow men who are already married to be ordained as priests.

Pope Francis raised some eyebrows Thursday when he said the church must study whether it's possible to ordain married men to minister in remote communities facing severe priest shortages.

The Pope says that the change of allowing married men to become priests is able to be talked about because it is a tradition, and not a dogma.

Married priests are already allowed in certain cases in the Catholic Church; married Protestant priests who convert to Catholicism, for example, are allowed to remain married and continue as a priest provided they have the permission of their wives.

Clerical celibacy has never been adapted as a doctrine of the church because nothing in the Bible suggests priests should not be married.

The church believes priests should not marry because they must act in the person of Christ and should be celibate. The lack of Catholic priests is an "enormous problem", said Francis, according to a translation of the interview in America magazine. The pope is from Argentina.

"But voluntary celibacy is not a solution", he told the newspaper.

First Phase polling for Manipur Assy ends, Turnout may exceed 80 pc
Playing the saffron party's election song, "Thambal", the bus travelled in various parts of Imphal East and Imphal West districts. Gorakhpur has a maximum of 127 candidates for nine seats while the minimum seven are contesting Mohammadabad Gohna seat in Mau.

The idea of permitting married priests has been simmering at lower levels in the church in recent years.

"People often forget that there are married clergy in Catholicism's Eastern rites - and have been for centuries", Arroyo said. "Fears close doors, freedom opens them".

"Accepting the invitation of the President of the Republic and the Colombian bishops, His Holiness the Pope Francis will make an Apostolic Trip to Colombia from 6 to 11 September 2017, visiting the cities of Bogotá, Villavicencio, Medellin and Cartagena".

The Vatican and Al-Azhar recently restored relations that the Cairo institute severed in 2011 to protest comments by then-Pope Benedict XVI.

"I fully expect that he will allow this to happen on a case-by-case basis in specific countries and see how it goes", Thavis said. However, he did express receptiveness to the idea in areas where the scarcity of priests is prominent.

The pope so far has not been willing to entertain the possibility of ordaining women or gay men as priests to bolster the dwindling priesthood, however.

  • Megan Austin