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Pope Francis rejects proposal to allow married priests

Pope Francis has rejected the proposal to inaugurate married men in the Amazon as priests. Credit: Wikicommons

Pope Francis has rejected the proposal to inaugurate married men in the Amazon as priests, or to allow women in higher positions.

Several Latin American bishops had submitted a proposal that would allow married men in the Amazon to be inaugurated as priests in order to meet the shortage of priests in the area, preventing many Catholics from fully professing their faith.

The Pope, however, has rejected the proposal, according to the document “Querida Amazonia” (Beloved Amazonia) that he presented in the Vatican on Wednesday.

The document, a so-called “post-synodal exhortation” or papal letter to the Church, follows the Synod of Bishops in October 2019, when a majority of participants declared themselves in favour of letting married men be priests in the Amazon, reports Het Nieuwsblad.

The Synod became a struggle between conservatives and “modernists”, even though the actual theme of the council was supposed to be the environmental problems in the Amazon. Conservatives feared that appointing married men in the Amazon would lead to the inauguration of married men in other regions, such as Germany, which also suffers from a shortage.

A solution for the shortage of priests in the Amazon should be found, according to the Pope, “for worship services must be guaranteed”. Regular people can play a role in this “by proclaiming the Word, by teaching, organising communities, administering sacraments,” he said, reports VRT.

Additionally, the Pope does not want a “clericalization of women” in the Church. “Women make their contribution to the Church in their own way, passing on the strength and tenderness of Mother Mary,” he said. “Women must have a real and effective influence on the organization, they must be involved in the most important decisions without giving up their own feminine style,” he added.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times