Should married men be allowed to become priests?

In light of the reports of a shortage of clergy, is allowing married men to become priests, or allowing priests to marry the answer?

Has there been a change in the Catholic Culture that fewer parents encourage their children to consider joining the clergy?

Thanks for your posts.

The same things that are causing the priest shortage are also causing the rise in divorces. It is the lack of ability to commit and the lack of understanding about what a vocation is that is causing the crisis; not the fact that they can’t be married.

Those of you who feel the answer is “yes”…please share your thoughts!

I do not believe that Priest should have wives because having to do with the responsibilty of having children and taking care of them and problems within the marriage is just adding on to distractions priest already have today. And Another thing, Priest are supposed to resemble Jesus Christ in all they do, and Jesus was not married during His Lifetime, most likely because of the distraction of having a family. Priest also do alot of work in ministry, evangelization, etc. and having a family may be a little bit too much of a distraction from all of that.

       God Bless, 

I voted no with one exception, A man who is over 50 with no dependent children and a means of supporting himself and his wife. Either with a pension or as a professional maybe working 2 or 3 days a week 4 hours a day, at most. Maybe could handle the responsibility of a parish or maybe helping at a parish.

I thought that they were allowed to be priests. They can become a priest after they are married but not marry after they are a priest. We do have married priests.

I’m I wrong?

Ummm…I don’t think that men can become priest after their married if they are already Catholic. First of all, that would mean that they would receive both sacraments of Holy Matrimony and Holy Orders, I don’t think this is possible for a Catholic. I believe it is only possible to be a married priest if someone was part of another religion and was married and was a Pastor, then when he converts to the Catholic Church, He can become a married priest
God Bless,

Just to induce thought…what if his wife is of child-bearing age?

Although the Latin Rite does not allow married priests (other than those converting) I thought some other Rites (Eastern) who are in union with Rome do allow this.

I am pretty sure a married man can become a deacon but not a priest. Unless he is widowed.

I’m not real sure about that, but I do know that the Orthodox Church does allow priest to be married. The orthodox church is mainly located in the East*…is this what your referring to?*

And if your not, then I doubt that some areas of the world, by the Catholic Church, do allow Catholics to receive both Matrimony and Holy Orders, cause usually Catholic teachings and rules are the same universally.

       God Bless,

A man who is married may be ordained in the Eastern Catholic Churches. From this website:

Priests in Eastern Rite Catholic churches may also marry prior to ordination. Roughly half of the Catholic priests of the Maronite church of Lebanon elect to marry.

Eastern Rite Catholics like the Maronites and Melkites are following rules that would be familiar to any Greek Orthodox Christian. Priests may marry prior to ordination, but not after. If their spouse should die, they may not remarry. Furthermore, bishops are chosen from the ranks of celibate clergy.

I voted yes, and was thinking mainly of the rites which do allow married priests.

In my own local parishes, however, I just don’t think it would work. As other posters have said, the responsibilities of parish and family would just be too much. And I honestly don’t think vocations to the priesthood would go up significantly. The priesthood is a vocation, not a job. It would be up to God to call and men to follow.

As for Catholic culture not supporting vocations to the priesthood… my young son has just become aware of nuns. I explained nuns as women who never get married or have children, but serve God only in the Church and not through a family of their own. A couple days later, as we were driving down the street, he said to me, “I haven’t quite decided yet whether or not I want to be a nun.” I choked back a laugh and told him that only ladies could be nuns. He’d have to be a brother or a priest. “Well, I still haven’t quite yet decided.” :yup: He’s four and we’re already talking about being open to religious life and letting God lead the way.

Back to married priests, I’ll go along with whatever Rome says. And right now they say Roman Catholic priests must be celibate. 'Nuff said.


How cute :slight_smile: Personally, I think the call to clergy is a noble one. I’d be more proud if my sons became priests than any other “job.” It takes courage, education, and a deep relationship with God to fulfill the vocation with integrity. That’s my :twocents:

Yes, 50 years old minimum to start the process, only one wife, no annulments, and no dependent children. And the Bishop may suspend their authority if there are family problems.

I’ll pose the same question to you:
What if his wife is of child-bearing age?

Eastern Rite married men are permitted to become priests. I do not believe the Pope should change the rule of celebacy for Roman Rite Priests.

Right now we need men who are willing to shead their blood for the Church today. Also, marital chastity is in trouble within the Church. About 90% of married Roman Catholics use contraceptives. We need to learn about chastity and a celebit priest is the best to teach it.


My answer is only in regards to the Latin Rite - as in the Eastern Rites of the Church, married men are allowed to be ordained to the Priesthood (and even by exception in the Latin Rite).

Since the Church has deemed it proper to have a celibate Priesthood, I side with the Church and say that no - married men shouldn’t be allowed to become Priest in the Latin Rite. Note I didn’t say can’t, I said shouldn’t. If in the future (though I don’t foresee this in my lifetime) the Church in her disciplinary authority decides to allow as a general rule married men to be ordained Priests, my answer shall change to yes.

Also note that while it is possible to ordain a married man, it is absolutely impossible for an ordained man to marry.

I don’t think that relaxing a long-held discipline will lead to more vocations to the priesthood. It might even reduce them further. I place it in God’s loving hands. If there is no crisis, there is no solution to come. Think Deaconate for married men.

Christ’s peace.


Are there even any dioceses or orders that will permit a man so old from beginning the process of becoming a Priest?

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