Pope says married priests possible, media reports claim

by Dennis Coday

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Pope Francis has told a fellow Latin American prelate that the ordination of "proven" married men -- viri probati -- is a serious and positive possibility -- if bishops' conferences ask for it, The Tablet of London reported April 10, citing interviews in Austrian media.

In discussions with Bishop Erwin Kräutler of Xingu in the Brazilian rainforest, Francis said he was open to the idea of ordaining married men, Kräutler told the daily Salzburger Nachrichten April 5.

"The pope explained that he could not take everything in hand personally from Rome. We local bishops, who are best acquainted with the needs of our faithful, should be corajudos, that is 'courageous' in Spanish, and make concrete suggestions," the Austrian paper quoted Kräutler.

A bishop should not act alone, the pope told Kräutler. Rather, "regional and national bishops' conferences should seek and find consensus on reform and we should then bring up our suggestions for reform in Rome," Kräutler said the pope told him.

Kräutler was born in Austria and ordained a priest for the Society of the Precious Blood, who sent him as a missionary to Brazil in the 1960s. He was has been bishop of Zingu since 1981.

Read the full report here.

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