Current Pope of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, has requested that Roman Catholic priests be given the right to get married. The request applies to priests in Brazil, and is on the agenda for an upcoming synod (church council) in the Amazon region. Pope Francis.
A small number of married Roman Catholic priests already exist, including previously married Anglican vicars who have joined the church.
A request to lift the ban on marriage was made by Brazilian bishop Cardinal Claudio Hummes, who reportedly asked the Pope to consider ‘viri probati’, meaning married of great faith, as priests.
Derry priest Father Paddy O’Kane suggested that Pope Francis may move to end celibacy earlier this month, saying there was support amongst the church for the idea.
Earlier this year the Pope told Die Zeit newspaper: ‘We must consider if ‘viri probati’ is a possibility. Then we must determine what tasks they can perform, for example, in remote communities.’
Francis and his predecessor Benedict XVI have both stated that celibacy is not a matter of inflexible church dogma unlike, and could be debated.
The issue of marriage among Roman Catholic priests has posed a great concern for so long. Four years ago, it was said that Reverend Fathers may be allowed to marry any woman of their choice. The Vatican opened its door to the possibility of married priests, a move that would go against centuries-old Church tradition.
Archbishop Pietro Parolin, had declared that the priestly vow of celibacy derived from an age-old rule, but was not Catholic dogma.
He said in part: “It’s not a dogma of the Church and it can be discussed because it’s an ecclesiastical tradition,” Archbishop Parolin told El Universal newspaper in Venezuela, where he is completing his term as Papal Nuncio…”