Should Roman Catholicism allow more married priests? Women at altars as deacons?

GetReligion | 11/16/2019 | Richard Ostling
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Reviving big Catholic issues: Should priests be married? Should women be deacons?



Those two epochal changes in Catholicism are posed to Pope Francis in the final report from an October synod for Catholic delegates representing South America’s Amazon region. Francis expects to issue his formal response in a pronouncement by the end of the year.

Catholics - Region - Months - Years - Priest

Catholics in that region can go for months, even years, without seeing a priest due to a severe shortage that is fostering evangelical Protestant inroads. Therefore the synod proposed that well-proven men (viri probati) be ordained as priests even if married, an experiment in bending the celibacy rule that liberals hope — and traditionalists fear — could spread elsewhere.

Female deacons would be revolutionary, and that change seems unlikely though not impossible. The celibacy that is mandatory for (most but not all) Catholic priests is considered a matter of discipline, not doctrine, and thus subject to change. Since celibacy has provoked so much discussion, and is the more likely to occur, The Guy treats that topic first.

New - Testament - Records - Peter - Catholicism

The New Testament records that Peter, regarded by Catholicism as the first in the line of popes, was married. Jesus taught that some would choose to live as unmarried “eunuchs” for the sake of God’s kingdom (Matthew 19:12), and a biblical letter of Paul speaks of a “special gift” to remain unwed (1 Corinthians 7:1-9). For both, this was singleness chosen voluntarily by certain Christians, not a requirement for all those in ministry.

In early Christianity, the choice of celibacy became more widespread as clergy sought to signify total dedication to church service. By the 4th Century the practice was being strongly advocated by the popes and...
(Excerpt) Read more at: GetReligion
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