BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- Pope Francis announced he will look into the possibility of married men becoming priests in the Roman Catholic Church.
Buffalo’s Catholic leader, Bishop Richard Malone of the Catholic Diocese, explained the issue comes down to dwindling numbers of priests in the certain areas.
Opening the door for married men who have proven their faith would be a chance to boost the priest population.
Bishop Malone explained the law that currently disallows this in the Roman Catholic or Western Church, isn’t strict Church doctrine, but rather a discipline agreed upon around the 12 century.
He said in the early centuries of the Church, there were married priests.
The Church already has a provision that accommodates married priests in exceptional cases. If approved, this would be an extension of that.
The bishop didn’t say whether he personally likes the idea of allowing married men of faith to serve as priests, but pointed out it’s not something that’s likely to happen right away.
“It’s something the Pope could change if he wished,” Malone said.
“It will be looked into. Like he said about women as deacons, ‘we’ll look into it’. And people jump to the conclusion that it’s about to happen.”
If married men of faith were given the green light to be ordained as priests, it’s still not clear if that would extend to the United States, or just parts of the world where the priest population is in crisis.