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Pope Francis says no to married priests in the Amazon

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Pope issues response to October synod.

Pope Francis has declined a recommendation that married men be allowed to become priests in the Amazon region. The suggestion was made during the Synod on the Amazon in October of 2019. It was intended to address a chronic shortage of clergy in the remote regions of the Amazon basin. 

Pope Francis says no to married priests in the Amazon.

Pope Francis says no to married priests in the Amazon.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
2/12/2020 (1 month ago)

Published in Americas

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


LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Pope Francis has declined to permit the ordination of married men to the priesthood. 

Latin American bishops forwarded the recommendation to Pope Francis last year in response to a shortage of priests in the remote reaches of the Amazon basin. In many places the population, which is largely Catholic, cannot obtain the regular benefit of the Sacraments because it takes weeks for priests to make their circuits. 

The bishops suggested that older deacons, those who have proved themselves through a life of service, could be made into priests, despite being married. 

Pope Francis rejected the request in an Apostolic Exhortation, which is used to instruct the faithful, but does not alter Church doctrine. He did not mention the request, which means it is denied. 

The bishops will have to find other ways to staff their remote parishes with priests. 

While the Church does have some married men who are priests, the cases are rare and exceptional. The most common example is when a priest joins the Church from the Episcopal church or another rite where marriage is allowed. 

The Church has maintained a celibate priesthood for centuries. The reason has to do with the fact that Jesus was Himself celibate, and the added responsibility of a marriage and a family can distract a priest from their duties. 

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