…applicable only in Amazon region for now
The age-long tradition and doctrine in Catholic Church worldwide of ordaining only celibates as priests in the Amazon region may have been changed as the Catholic bishops voted overwhemingly for the ordaination of married men.
Now married men can now be ordained as priests only in the region following complaints of shortage of priests.
If the proposal is approved by Pope Francis, It would be a historic change to the church’s centuries-old tradition of ordaining only unmarried priests.
The bishops voted 128-41 and applies only to some churches in the Amazon region of Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela.
The proposal known as “Viri Probati’’ refers to older Catholic men, who have stable families, respected in their communities and are already ordained as deacons in the church.
It explained that allowing married men to become priests is not the same thing as allowing priests to marry, warning that the change will not affect the rule of celibacy for Catholic priests who cannot be allowed to marry.
The Pope had said he was “open to studying the possibilty of allowing married men to be ordained.’’
Ordaining married men has been one of the contentious recommendations discussed and voted on at the conclusion of a three-week meeting at the Vatican.
In all, 184 bishops and priests from the Amazon region and around the world attended the conference (Synod) while 35 women – mostly religious sisters and nuns did not vote.
Also, the possibility of ordaining women as deacons was recommended for studying by the Vatican.