TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - Pope Francis signaled a major change for the Catholic Church in an interview this week.
The Pope says he would be open to married men becoming priests to combat the church's shortage of clergy.
Pope Francis made the comment in a German magazine.
He believes the lack of priests is, in his words, an enormous problem, and indicated he would be open to a change in the rules governing eligibility for the priesthood.
The option would allow men who are already married to be ordained as priests.
But Pope Francis says single men who are already priests would not be allowed to marry.
The Catholic Church already allows some married men to be ordained priests.
For example, Protestant married priests who convert to Catholicism can continue to be married and be a Roman Catholic priest but only if they have their wife's permission.
The Roman Catholic Church has held that priests should not marry based on certain passages in the Bible, specifically, in passages regarding celibacy, like Jesus Christ.
"He's very pastorally oriented, and I think it all comes from the fact that there are a lot of places in the world where there aren't enough priests," said Father James Bacik, a theologian from Toledo.
Father Bacik expects there will be married priests eventually. How long it takes however is the big question.