Pope plays down expectations on married priests

Pope Francis with US bishops at the Vatican on Monday (Vatican Media)

Pope Francis has told a group of US bishops that people focused on the possibility of ordaining married men and female deacons for service in the Amazon will be disappointed in his apostolic exhortation. Source: The Tablet.

By Junno Arocho Esteves, Cindy Wooden and Carol Glatz, CNS via The Tablet

The Vatican will today release Querida Amazonia, Beloved Amazonia, the Pope’s post-synodal document.

The document came up in the two-and-a-half-hour ad limina discussion Pope Francis had with bishops from New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Utah and Wyoming on Monday, two of the bishops said.

Archbishop John Wester of Santa Fe, New Mexico, told CNS the Pope told the bishops: “I want to hear what you have to say. Criticisms, complaints and questions are welcome. That’s how the Holy Spirit works. The Holy Spirit can’t work if we’re all walking on eggshells and afraid to say anything.”

The clerical sexual abuse crisis, immigration, polarisation in society and in the Church, training seminarians, the ministry of bishops and the role of women in the Church were among the topics discussed, several bishops said.

Bishop Oscar Solis of Salt Lake City said Pope Francis did not go into detail about Querida Amazonia but he did give the bishops the impression that the issues of ordaining married men and women deacons for ministry in far-flung communities would still be a matter for future discussion and discernment.

“He said he didn’t actually believe in the ordination of married men, but what are you going to do with all those people who are deprived of the Eucharist,” the bishop said. There are communities where a priest arrives only once a year for Mass.

Pope Francis did warn the bishops that many in the media and the general public will be focusing on those two issues – married priests and women deacons – while he wanted to focus on the social, pastoral, ecological and cultural challenges facing the Amazon region.


Pope plays down expectations on married priests (The Tablet

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