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Catholic bishops back limited relaxation of celibacy rule

Roman Catholic bishops have voted to allow married men to become priests in the Amazon region, exempting them from the centuries-old rule on celibacy.

The vote came at the end of a Vatican assembly on the Amazon, where there is a severe shortage of priests.

For the proposal to take effect, it must be backed by Pope Francis, who is due to make his position clear soon.

Traditionalists fear a slippery slope to married priests throughout the Church, diluting its unique character.

The vote was taken at a three-week assembly, known as a synod, of some 180 bishops in Rome. It also looked at the role of women in the Church's work, and environmental issues.

The Catholic Church is the oldest institution in the Western world, tracing its history back almost 2,000 years, and counts more than a billion members.

Read more: Catholic bishops back limited relaxation of celibacy rule

Priest told undercover police officer he wanted to abuse boy

(Sadly it looks like even with all the appropriate psychological screening for entry to the seminary, an individual like Jolley can be accpeted for the priesthood and be permitted to continue year on year to further study. When an individual displays conservative behaviour and a propensitiy for dressing up in clerical garb long before ordination, why does this not set alarm bells ringing for the Seminary staff? Untold damage has been caused by Jolley's evil behaviour and a married priesthood would give the checks and balances required for a healthy lifestyle).

A CATHOLIC priest told an undercover police officer that he wanted to sexually abuse a two-year-old boy.

Father Matthew Jolley, from Great Sankey, exchanged a string of vile messages online with a man who he thought was the toddler’s dad.

But in reality, he was talking to a police officer who had set up a fake account on a dating app – and the 32-year-old was arrested after travelling to meet up in order to act out his sick desires.

Read more: Priest told undercover police officer he wanted to abuse boy

Heart and Soul: Husbands and Priests

Heart and Soul: Husbands and Priests
BBC world service

If nothing else, Blanche Girouard’s tactful account of the rise of the married priest (6 October) was big on statistics. Did you know, for example, that the minister/flock ratio in an average West European Catholic parish is 1:1,300, whereas along the Amazon it can be as high as 1:17,000? Or that between 400 and 500 married Anglican priests have taken advantage of the transfer scheme initiated by Pope Benedict?

One of the latter was Jeff Woolnough, incumbent of a church in Southend-on-Sea, who had flown the C of E coop after the admission of women bishops. It was his wife, Julia, Fr Jeff admitted, who gave his ministry its sheen, got him out of bed in the small hours to administer succour to the dying, and provided a settled domesticity beyond the resources of a single man.

Meanwhile, the celibacy that the Woolnoughs had left behind was, various experts insisted, a discipline, not a dogma. The Eastern Catholic church has had married clergy for a millennium or so, and Fr Augustin, with whose six-person family Girouard spent time in Romania, spoke feelingly of the solitude he had experienced alone in his seminarian’s room in Rome, long before he met his wife, Violeta.

Before we reached the now ongoing Synod on the Amazon, Girouard talked to Alex Walker and his wife. The now long-married couple had met when Jan arrived at her north country parish priest’s front door bearing the rent for a gymnastics session at the church hall. “I never thought there would be a romantic connection,” she reminisced of their failed three-year attempt to stay apart from each other, after which Alex resigned from the priesthood.
Husbands and Priests packed a great deal into its half-hour. Frank discussions about whether or not celibacy encouraged child abuse led to an equally frank admission that the introduction of married priests would create problems as well as solving them. There were financial issues, as Fr Augustin – whose wife worked as a teacher to support their family – could happily testify.

As for the future, celibacy still had many advocates (including the uxorious Fr Jeff). The churchgoers whom Girouard interviewed counselled caution. Any decision reached by the Amazon synod to admit married men would be a momentous step for Western Catholicism. But for Alex, who still keeps his vestments under the marital bed, the call can’t come soon enough.

Cardinal Turkson says ordination of married men may get further study

Vatican City, Oct 22, 2019 / 09:05 am (CNA).- Cardinal Peter Turkson said Monday that the ordination of married men will likely be the subject of further study for the universal Church after the Amazon synod.

“This issue will probably be made the subject matter of a more detailed study of the issue with view to the Church taking a consistent position, not only in view of the Amazon, but in view of the universal Church,” Turkson told EWTN News Nightly Oct. 22.

Read more: Cardinal Turkson says ordination of married men may get further study

Brazilian Bishop on married Priests


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