A proposal that allows some married men to be ordained as priests in the Amazon region was on Sunday approved by some Catholic Bishops.
However, the proposal must be first approved by Pope Francis– if this happens, it would be a historic change to centuries-old tradition of unmarried priests in the catholic church.
It passed by a vote of 128-41 and applies only to some churches in the Amazon region that are experiencing a shortage of priests – regions such as Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela are excluded.
The proposal, known as viri probati, refers to older Catholic men, who have stable families, and respected in their communities and are already ordained as deacons in the church.
This proposal doesn’t in any way mean that Catholic priests are now allowed to be married but only allows married men to become priests.
It, therefore, doesn’t change the rule of celibacy for Catholic priests, who are not allowed to marry.