The Catholic Church in Malawi has it is treating the recent statement by its leader Pope Francis of having married men joining the priesthood as personal opinion.

Pope Francis recently said he is willing to consider ordaining older married men in isolated communities, but he ruled out making priestly celibacy optional to tackle a shortage of clergy.

In an interview with a German Newspaper, Pope Francis also ruled out the possibility of current, single priests to marry.

“We have to give a thought to whether viri probati are a possibility. We then also need to determine which tasks they could take on, such as in isolated areas, for example,” he was quoted as saying.

Speaking in an interview with the press, Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) Secretary General Father Henry Saindi said the church is yet to receive official communication on the matter.

“We have not been formally communicated on the matter and as Church we are treating the Pope’s statement on the issue of Priesthood as personal opinion,” said Saindi in an interview with Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS).

When asked as to whether the Catholic Church in Malawi is faced with shortage of priest, Saindi openly admitted the challenge.

Europe is one of the continents in the World that has been largely hit by shortage of priest.

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