- Pope Francis wants to allow married men to be ordained as priests.
- Pope Francis wants to allow already-ordained priests to marry.
Ladies and gentlemen, the differences between the two are not trivial. Regarding the first, there is precedent for this:
- In eastern rites of the Catholic Church, married men are ordained to the priesthood.
- There have been cases of whole Anglican parishes converting to the Catholic faith (often occasioned by the moral corruption of the Anglican faith). Their clergy, usually married, have been ordained as Roman Catholic priests.
- Obviously, though, the preceding scenarios are not applicable to married men in the Roman rite.
- Just to clarify, I am not indicating approval of the first case. I am illustrating that the two cases cannot be seen as equivalent.
Regarding the second case, though, there is absolutely no precedent for it. In the eastern rites, no unmarried priest is permitted to marry. If a priest's wife dies, he may not remarry. If Roman rite priests were allowed to marry, they would be in violation of their vows of celibacy.
St. Bridget of Sweden recounted a vision in which Our Lady spoke of the second scenario. If that is Pope Francis' intentions, he may be setting himself up for some serious eternal consequences. Even if it's merely the first, one can see how that course of action would easily segue into the second and its attendant catastrophes.