Pope Francis says he's open to married Catholic men becoming pri - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Pope Francis says he's open to married Catholic men becoming priests

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Pope Francis says he's willing to let married Catholic men become priests in an attempt to help the Roman Catholic Church's clergy shortage.

The pope made the comments in an interview with German newspaper Die Ziet. He called the lack of Catholic priests an "enormous problem," and said he would be open to changing the rules about priesthood eligibility.

The change would allow men who are already married to be ordained as priests. However, single men who are already priests would not be allowed to marry.

At Friday's noon mass at The Cathedral of the Assumption, people had strong opinions about the pope's comments. Susan Wettle, for example, is open to change but knows it won't be popular with everyone in the Catholic church.

"This decision should have been made centuries ago. I am all for it," she said. "Because the church is slow to change. It takes centuries to get anything done. Therefore, there will always be people against change just because it's change."

The Catholic church already allows some married men to be ordained priests. Protestant married priests who convert to Catholicism can continue to be married and be a Roman Catholic priest, if they have their wives' permission. 

Eastern Catholic churches that are in communion with the Roman Catholic Church can also maintain their tradition of married priests.

Mark Barnes says the priesthood is a calling he has felt most of his life but never answered because of his desire to have a wife and family.

To know that I could actually become a priest and be married ... That would be very enticing," he said.

The Roman Catholic Church believes priests should not marry based on certain passages in the Bible and because it believes that priests should be celibate, like Jesus Christ was.

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