In a radio interview to be broadcast today, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, Archbishop Emeritus of Westminster and former President of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of England and Wales, noted that he would ask the Vatican to ordain “suitable married men” to help alleviate a shortage of clergy.
“If I were a bishop of a diocese that had a very small number of priests … I would ask permission I think of Rome to ordain suitable married men,” Murphy-O’Connor told Radio 4. “But I think it’s got to be done very carefully because I think celibacy is a great gift to the church. But circumstances may I think … may impel bishops and bishops conferences to ordain married men.”
The interview was apparently recorded prior to the sudden resignation of Bishop Kieran Conry, who recently admitted to an affair with a female member of his diocese that lasted six years.
The UK’s Catholic Herald report of the Murphy O’Connor radio interview can be found here.