Mar 10, 2017

Pope Francis would consider married men as priests

Andrew Medichini / AP

Per the AP, Pope Francis has expressed an openness to examining the possibility that married men in remote communities might be allowed to join the priesthood.

The times they are a-changin': The Catholic Church's discipline of clerical celibacy has been in place for nearly two thousand years, though the Church does already allow some exceptions — priests in eastern rite Catholicism and previously married Anglican priests who convert to Catholicism.

A New World pope: Francis, hailing from Argentina, is acutely aware of the problems faced by a massively Catholic country like Brazil, where there's one priest for every ten thousand Catholics in the Amazon region.

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Coronavirus spreads to more countries, and U.S. ups its case count

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. Meanwhile, Italy reported its first virus-related death on Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,359 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 4 hours ago - Health

Wells Fargo agrees to pay $3 billion to settle consumer abuse charges

Clients use an ATM at a Wells Fargo Bank in Los Angeles, Calif. Photo: Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Wells Fargo agreed to a pay a combined $3 billion to the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday for opening millions of fake customer accounts between 2002 and 2016, the SEC said in a press release.

The big picture: The fine "is among the largest corporate penalties reached during the Trump administration," the Washington Post reports.