marries priests

Priests and marriage: Pope’s response not so new after all

Pope Francis greeted a new priest at an ordination Mass April 26, 2015, in St. Peter’s Basilica. In an interview with German newspaper Die Zeit in early March, Pope Francis discussed the possibility of examining whether to allow married men to become priests.

VATICAN CITY — While Pope Francis' recent comments on the subject of married priests made headlines around the world, his response falls clearly in line with the thinking of his predecessors.

In an interview with German newspaper Die Zeit, published in early March, Pope Francis was asked if allowing candidates for the priesthood to fall in love and marry could be "an incentive" for combating the shortage of priestly vocations.

He also was asked about the possibility of allowing married "viri probati" — men of proven virtue — to become priests.

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