A century-old law in the Roman Catholic church affirms that one should remain celibate so he can be ordained as a priest. However, that law might be abolished sooner due to the scarcity of ministers in the far-flung villages within the forests of the Amazon. Recently, a Vatican paper has requested this kind of transformation as the answer to the insufficiency of clergy in the area.
The Viri Probati
The said endorsement will be taken up at a synod of bishops hailing from the Amazon. This will happen in October at the Vatican. A paper that discusses the said meeting says that proclaiming “viri probati” or “men of proven virtue”, should be taken up.
The paper explains how problematic it is in celebrating the Holy Eucharist regularly in these distant villages. It also talked about the convenience of the religion’s followers when attending the sermon. Majority of their followers in the Amazon leaves their communities deprived of the Eucharist.
Requirements to Become a “Married Priest”
The Viri Probati also specified the conditions needed to become a priest, despite being wed. They prefer men that are native and are well valued and recognized within their respective villages. Married men that has already established their own families will also be given a chance to become a priest in their village. That is as long as their families are also reputable and firm. These so-called “married priests” can be a role model to their followers that way.
Pope Francis has been very vocal about accepting wedded men to be sent to remote areas.
However, he cited that the rule of celibacy should persist to most priests, especially those that are assigned to populated areas. The leader of the Catholic church has also expressed support for women to be in the church “at all levels.”