Thursday, October 31, 2019

Catholic Bishops: Change Canon Law and allow ordination of married men

A summit of Roman Catholic bishops meeting at the Vatican recommended that Pope Francis allow the ordination of married men as priests in the Amazon region, that would change a roughly 1,000-year-old canon law and potentially revolutionize the priesthood, reported the New York Times.
It is the first time a grouping of bishops convened by a pope has endorsed such a historic change to the tradition of a celibate priesthood. The proposal is limited to remote areas of South America where there is a scarcity of priests but could set a precedent for easing the restriction on married priests throughout the world.
If Francis, who has already signaled an openness on the issue, accepts the bishops’ recommendation, he will turn the remote areas of the Amazon region into a laboratory for a Catholic Church looking to the global south for its future, with married priests and indigenous rites mixing with traditional liturgy.
The pope is expected to respond to the proposals by the end of this year.
The final document of the summit, noting that many of the faithful in the Amazon region have “enormous difficulties” in receiving communion and seeing a priest, proposed to “ordain priests suitable and esteemed men of the community,” who had already had “fruitful” experiences as deacons and who “receive an adequate formation for the priesthood, having a legitimately constituted and stable family.”
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