AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Pope Francis is now considering allowing married men to become Catholic priests.
Traditionally men in the Catholic Church can either chose to get married, or be ordained as a priest -- not both.
But the worldwide shortage of priests has the Pope reconsidering what's been the norm for at least 1,000 years.
The Catholic Church has been struggling to attract new priests to the clergy for several years.
In an interview with a German newspaper, Pope Francis called the shortage an "enormous problem."
He indicated he was open to the idea of letting married men of Catholic faith become priests.
But current priests would not be allowed to marry or break their vows of celibacy.
The Diocese of Amarillo declined to comment until they hear more from the church
So we reached out to local Catholics, most of whom were surprised but fully supportive of the Pope's idea.
"It makes me glad to see one of the world's oldest institutions become more progressive over the years," said one viewer.
"I think it will be a help to the church, more inclusive and more aligned with the values the church espouses," said another.
Others believe there are other things Catholic leaders should focus on first, like eliminating negative stigmas associated with the faith.
"Married men go against a lot of what the priesthood stands for," said one viewer.
The Pope said this change could help get more priests to rural communities that don't have them.
The Catholic Church already allows some married men to be ordained priests.
Protestant married priests who convert to Catholicism can continue to be married while a member of the clergy.
The Pope could choose to allow any married man to join the priesthood at any time.