Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Monday 18 October |
The Feast of Saint Luke the Evangelist
Aleteia logo

Chiesa: Next Big Issue for Francis Could be Married Priests

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 12/09/15

Sandro Magister speculates: 

While waiting for Pope Francis to rule on communion for the divorced and remarried, which two synods discussed and split over, there is already a glimpse of the theme of the next synodal session: married priests. That married priests will be the next topic of synodal discussion can be gathered from various indications. The first indication is the evident intention of Pope Francis to implement the agenda dictated in 1999 by Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, in a memorable statement at the synod of that year. The archbishop of Milan at the time, a Jesuit and the undisputed leader of the “liberal” wing of the hierarchy, said that he “had a dream”: that of a Church capable of getting into a permanent synodal state, with a “collegial and authoritative exchange among all the bishops on some key issues.” And here are the “key issues” that he listed: “The shortage of ordained ministers, the role of woman in society and in the Church, the discipline of marriage, the Catholic vision of sexuality, penitential practice, relations with the sister Churches of Orthodoxy and more in general the need to revive ecumenical hopes, the relationship between democracy and values and between civil laws and the moral law.” Of Martini’s agenda, the two synods convened so far by Pope Francis have indeed discussed “the discipline of marriage” and in part “the Catholic vision of sexuality.” There is nothing to prevent, therefore, the “key issue” of the next synod from being that which Martini put at the head of them all: “the shortage of ordained ministers.” The shortage of priests – who in the Latin Catholic Church are by rule celibate – is felt especially keenly in some regions of the world. Above all in Latin America. One year ago Bishop Erwin Kräutler, Austrian by birth and the head of the Xingu prelature in Brazil, with only 25 priests in a territory larger than Italy and therefore with the possibility of celebrating the Mass and the sacraments only two or three times a year in the most far-flung localities, has made himself the messenger to Pope Francis of the request from many of his brother bishops to make up for the shortage of celibate priests by also conferring sacred ordination on “viri probati,” meaning men of proven virtue, and married. The request was not new. And the Brazilian bishops – but not only them – have made it repeatedly. Cardinal Cláudio Hummes, 81, archbishop emeritus of São Paulo and a leading elector of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, even proposed it when he was prefect of the Vatican congregation for the clergy, from 2006 to 2010.

Read on

Photo: Wikipedia

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Agnès Pinard Legry
Three brothers ordained priests on the same day in the Philippine...
difficult people
Zoe Romanowsky
How to love people you don’t really like
Philip Kosloski
A scientist describes the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima
Philip Kosloski
How the violence in ‘Squid Game’ can impact your soul
Margaret Rose Realy, Obl.OSB
The ‘Tree of Death’ haunts many a cemetery
saint teresa of Avila
Zelda Caldwell
Now there’s a computer font based on St. Teresa of Avila’s handwr...
Cerith Gardiner
Archbishop gives little girl a beautiful response about why God a...
See More