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Married men may be allowed to become priests in remote part of Amazon

Married men may be allowed to become priests in remote part of Amazon

Posted October. 28, 2019 07:33,   

Updated October. 28, 2019 07:33


Bishops from nine South American countries in the Amazon basin region on Saturday (local time) proposed to Pope Francis that the ordination of married men as priests and the ordination of women as deacons to address a scarcity of clergy in the region should be discussed at the Vatican.

The Associated Press reported that the Amazon diocese created two years ago by Pope Francis, the first South American pope in history, made a historic proposal that would upend centuries of Roman Catholic tradition. The Amazon diocese’s 181 bishops passed a proposal containing a request to allow the ordination of married men and women in a 128 to 41 vote with 12 invalid votes on the last day of the 3-week bishop synod held in the Vatican.

The bishops argued that the ordination should be allowed in an equitable manner regardless of gender. According to the American Broadcasting Company, 35 nuns also joined in the bishop synod and the writing of the proposal, however, they did not cast a vote.

Following the vote, the pope said he would reopen the work of a 2016 commission that studied the issue of women deacons and collect the opinions of various episcopates before the Vatican publishes a statement on the proposals.

Vatican conservatives accused the Amazon diocese and even the pope himself of heresy for even considering flexibility on mandatory priestly celibacy. The Associated Press reported that the Catholic Church, which contains nearly two dozen different rites, already allows married priests in Eastern Rite churches since a few hundreds of years ago and in cases where married Anglican priests have converted.

Taek Kyoon Sohn sohn@donga.com