The idea of exceptionally ordaining older married men of proven virtue to celebrate the Eucharist in isolated Catholic communities is something that should be discussed, said Cardinal Beniamino Stella, prefect of the Congregation for Clergy.
‘It is not about being in favour of or against something, but about attentively evaluating various possibilities without being closed or rigid,’ the cardinal said in a new book in Italian, Tutti gli Uomini di Francesco (All Francis’ Men) released on 22nd January by Edizioni San Paolo.
The book, by Italian journalist Fabio Marchese Ragona, includes interviews with churchmen named to the College of Cardinals by Pope Francis.
Pope Francis was asked by the German newspaper Die Zeit last year about whether, in the Latin-rite Church, he could see allowing married ‘viri probati’ – men of proven virtue – to become priests.
Picture: 2015 archive photo of Italian Cardinal Beniamino Stella, prefect of the Congregation for Clergy, celebrating Mass in Havana. (CNS photo/Alejandro Ernesto, EPA).