The catholic pontiff, Pope Francis in a new interview published Thursday reveals that the church may consider ordaining married men priest who could potentially then work in remote areas faced with a shortage of priests.
"We must think about whether viri probati are a possibility," Francis said referring to married, older, men who are already involved in church business.
"Then we have to decide what tasks they can take on, for example in remote communities," he added in the interview with German weekly Die Zeit.
A lot of people in the church have voiced that a new path to ordination should be opened given the lack of priests in many places with the notion that in addition to priests who take a vow of celibacy, older, married men with a long track of commitment to the church could also be considered.
Pope Francis had in May 2014 stated that "there are married priests in the Church" citing married Anglican ministers who joined the Catholic Church, Coptic Catholics and the priests of some Eastern churches.
The church, and particularly the present pope's predecessor, Benedict XVI, had prior to this time said that celibacy was not a matter of inflexible church dogma unlike, for example, the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Pope Francis has however, said allowing priests in training to choose whether or not to be celibate was "not the solution".