Vatican considering allowing married men to become priests

  • 18/06/2019
The change is in response to a shortage of clergy.
The change is in response to a shortage of clergy. Photo credit: Getty Images

Married men could soon be allowed to become priests after the Vatican announced it is considering changing a long-standing policy requiring them to remain celibate. 

But there is a catch - the change would only apply to older married men living in the Amazon jungle.

A Vatican document is suggesting the change in response to a shortage of clergy in the region. 

The recommendations will be discussed at a synod of bishops from the Amazon in October. The possibility of ordaining "men of proven virtue" will also be addressed. 

The document says, "while affirming that celibacy is a gift for the church, there have been requests that, for the most remote areas of the region, the possibility of conferring priestly ordination on elderly men is discussed".

The guidelines say married priests should be "preferably indigenous, respected and accepted members of their communities". 

It would also allow men to enter the priesthood if they already have an "established" and "stable" family. 

The committee will also discuss allowing women in the Amazon to play a more significant role within the Catholic Church. 

Pope Francis has previously said he is open to allowing married men to be ordained in areas facing a shortage. 


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