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Bishops recommend some married men could become priests

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At the end of the Synod on the Amazon, the bishops have suggested that married men could be ordained.

The bishops of the Church are suggesting to Pope Francis he consider ordaining some married deacons to become priests in the Amazon region. 

Could married deacons be ordained as priests?

Could married deacons be ordained as priests?

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
10/31/2019 (11 months ago)

Published in Marriage & Family

Keywords: Amazon, Pope Francis, married, synod, priests

LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - The Amazon basin is a vast expanse where travel is difficult and dangerous. Many of the inhabitants are Catholic. The Church has found it hard to staff remote parishes with priests, sending clergy on hazardous circuits of the roads and waterways of the vast, jungle basin. 

Already, mainstream media has insinuated this recommendation means the Church is about to end its centuries-long practice of priestly celibacy. This is absolutely not the case.

The Church is already served by married clergy, including many deacons. There are also some married priests within the Church, including those formerly of the Anglican Church, who have returned to full communion with Rome. 

The recommendation sent to Pope Francis only suggests that married members of the deaconate be considered for elevation to the priesthood. It does not allow priests to marry, and it only applies to the most remote regions of the Amazon basin. 

This is not a reversal of some theological doctrine, and it should not be construed as a fundamental shift for the Church. Pope Francis has repeatedly stressed the importance of pastoral care when dealing with the faithful, and that may sometimes mean making exceptions to ensure all have reliable access to the Sacraments, and the grace of God which they bestow. 

The recommendation was not unanimous however, with 41 of the 169 bishops present voting against the recommendation. 

At this time, the proposal is just that and Pope Francis may reject it. He is expected to make a decision before the end of the year. However, if Pope Francis agrees to the new policy, it should not be construed as a shift of any kind, or as a trend towards married priests. 

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