Has the pope opened the door for married men to be priests?

Bishop claims he recently declared it a possibility.

A bishop who met with Pope Francis in a rare private audience on 4 April has said in an interview that the two men discussed the issue of the ordination of “proven” married men – viri probati – in a serious and positive way.

Bishop Erwin Kr�utler, Bishop of Xingu in the Brazilian rainforest, spoke to the Pope about Francis’ forthcoming encyclical on the environment, and the treatment of indigenous peoples but the desperate shortage of priests in the bishop’s huge diocese came up in the conversation.

According to an interview the Austrian-born bishop gave to the daily Salzburger Nachrichten on 5 April, the Pope was open-minded about finding solutions to the problem, saying that bishops’ conferences could have a decisive role.

“I told him that as bishop of Brazil’s largest diocese with 800 church communities and 700,000 faithful I only had 27 priests, which means that our communities can only celebrate the Eucharist twice or three times a year at the most,” Bishop Kr�utler said.

“The Pope explained that he could not take everything in hand personally from Rome. We local bishops, who are best acquainted with the needs of our faithful, should be corajudos, that is ‘courageous’ in Spanish, and make concrete suggestions,” he explained.

A bishop should not act alone, the Pope told Kr�utler. He indicated that “regional and national bishops’ conferences should seek and find consensus on reform and we should then bring up our suggestions for reform in Rome,” Kr�utler said.

Asked whether he had raised the question of ordaining married men at the audience, Bishop Kr�utler replied: “The ordination of viri probati, that is of proven married men who could be ordained to the priesthood, came up when we were discussing the plight of our communities. The Pope himself told me about a diocese in Mexico in which each community had a deacon but many had no priest. There were 300 deacons there who naturally could not celebrate the Eucharist. The question was how things could continue in such a situation.

“It was up to the bishops to make suggestions, the Pope said again.”

Bishop Kr�utler was then asked whether it now depended on bishops’ conferences, as to whether church reforms proceeded or not. “Yes,” he replied. “After my personal discussion with the Pope I am absolutely convinced of this.”

Source: The Tablet/UCANews.

 

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2 Comments

  1. April 17, 2014 at 7:31 am

    Whilst celebrating the Eucharist is the prime function of our priests, I firmly believe that the local priest in the parish MUST be a friend to the people; someone who we can trust when we go to him for advice.
    Our so-called celibate priests just have no clue as to what running a family, or what life really is like in the actual world where most of us struggle everyday.
    Another very important point is that the most enjoyable experience is sex; this ultimate joyous experience, let us prudes not forget, was created by GOD so that humans would shy away from bringing children into this world. It is because of this thrilling experience that so many of our priests want to, first-hand, experience this ultimate of pleasures.
    The result is so many so-called scandals.
    Having the pleasures of sex is intrinsically part of human life; to deny it to our priests is wrong.
    Let them be married, go through the problems of daily life, bring up children— only then can they be yours and my friend and good priests serving their flock as if they are their family.
    Hope I do not get kicked out because of my personal views !!!!!

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  2. Sony said,

    May 5, 2014 at 10:48 am

    Personally I don’t find anything wrong in your views, Mr.Fergus Misquitta. It is God who said that ‘Man should not live alone and He created a partner for Him, not from the dust, but from Man’s rib’. Being a catholic priest is like moving against the Nature that God created. We human should learn to move with the nature. There is always so much temptation for what is forbidden, cos all are human; not God. Many immoral (unbelievable mortal sins) acts are hidden everyday under the mask of Religious, cos we(priests and nuns) live against the nature that God has set. Jesus started His ministry with disciples which included the sinners, married, uneducated, popular people,…What about now? Nowadays youngsters are selected on the basis of education, talents, health, wealth, fluency in languages. They are trapped in the name of God, at the early age, where they know nothing about life, friendship, marriage, career, sex. So sad and funny that youngsters are running behind the tag ‘Religious/Priest’, rather than being Human. 🙂

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