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Pope Francis

Pope Francis' complete schedule for Colombia trip

June 23, 2017. He will go to Colombia September 6-11.

Bruno Marie Duffé, new secretary of the Department for Integral Development

June 16, 2017. Thepope has named French priest Bruno Marie Duffé, from Lyon, number two of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. He will be in charge of one of the key offices in the Vatican Curia.
Pope Francis

Angela Merkel to meet with pope on June 17

June 9, 2017. The Vatican has confirmed that on Saturday, June 17, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet with Pope Francis. Both have previously met in Rome in May 2016, February 2015 and May 2013, two months after Pope Francis was elected pontiff.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis to meet with Venezuelan bishops on June 8

June 5, 2017. Pope Francis will meet with Venezuelan bishops next Thursday to discuss the situation their country is facing.

New secretary of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life

May 31, 2017. The Brazilian priest Alexandre Awi Mello, the National Director of Brazil's Schönstatt Movement, will serve as the new secretary. He was born Rio de Janeiro in 1971, and ordained a priest in 2001.
Pope Francis

Pope sends condolences and solidarity to Cairo after bus attack

May 26, 2017. Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, wrote a letter to His Excellency Abdel Fattah Al Sisi after the bus attack Friday in Cairo, which left close to 30 Coptic Christians dead, including children, and many others injured.

What is viri probati? A proposal for extreme situations, which did not advance


This interview with Pope Francis by German weekly "Die Zeit," has opened the debate on the "viri probati," or "tested married men.” 

However, they do not exist. It is a proposal that has been talked about for years, but has never been put into practice.

The expression, "viri probati,” is inspired from the first-century letter of a disciple of the apostles, St. Clement. In it, he explains how the early apostles chose their successors.

"And thus preaching through countries and cities, they appointed the first-fruits [of their labors], having first proved them by the Spirit, to be bishops and deacons of those who should afterwards believe."

During the Second Vatican Council, some spoke of the "viri probati," but the potential idea was discarded.

The idea is that in situations of extreme lack of priests, married people with "proven" fidelity to the Catholic Church could be ordained.

Currently, two Brazilian bishops (Jaime Vieira Rocha, Erwin Kräutler) are requesting these sort of priests for large areas of the Amazon, where communities live for years without the Eucharist.

To understand the pope's response in this interview, one must understand the context of the question.

When "Die Zeit” asked about the crisis of vocations, Pope Francis responded that "optional celibacy is not the solution to the lack of vocations."

The journalist then asks if ordering a "viri probati" is a way to solve it. The pope replies as follows:

"We must think, if the "viri probati "are a possibility [to solve the problem]. But we must also decide what kind of functions to entrust to them, for example in isolated communities."

Then he explained that we should not be afraid of the truth and reasoning past decisions, because the truth sets us free.

Indeed, in the first centuries of Christianity there were married priests, but from the fourth century on the practice of celibacy was consolidated in the West.

The pope's response says not to be afraid to question problems, but also, not to seek hasty solutions that may not resolve them or lead to further problems.

- PR