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Husbands and Priests



TX Date

4th Oct 2019


Blanche Girouard


Kristine Pommert


"Nicely nifty, beautifully set up and relatable."

Simon Pitts, Commissioning editor, BBC World Service

From Europe to Latin America, the Catholic church is woefully short of priests. In the Amazon region of Brazil, the shortage is so dramatic that many Catholics are able to go to mass just once a year. But there is a possible solution: allowing married men to become priests, after a thousand years of priestly celibacy.

What even most Catholics don’t know is that within pockets of the Catholic fold, married priests already exist. In the Eastern Catholic churches, they are very much the norm. In this edition of Heart and Soul, Blanche Girouard meets some of those married priests to find out whether and how it could work to open up the Catholic priesthood to married men more widely.

Among them is Fr Augustin Butica, who lives in Romania with his wife Violeta and four children. At one point, the couple and three of their children had to share one room because the church had no house for them to move into; yet he has never questioned his dual commitment to his priestly ministry and his family.