Pope Francis says the Catholic Church needs to study whether it's possible to ordain married men to minister in remote communities facing priest shortages, the Yahoo News website reports today (March 9, 2017).
In an interview published today in Germany's "Die Zeit," Francis expressed an openness to studying whether the "viri probati" -- or married men of proven faith -- could be ordained.
Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes -- a longtime friend of Francis and former head of the Vatican's office for clergy -- has asked the pope to allow viri probati in the Amazon area of Brazil, where the church counts around one priest for every 10,000 Catholics.
The Catholic Church already allows some exceptions to priests being married. For example, priests in the Greek Catholic Church -- that is, Catholic priests who use Greek Orthodox religious traditions in their Catholic services -- are allowed to be married.