Pope Francis Set to Decide on Special Exception to Priestly Celibacy Rule

Pope Francis Set to Decide on Special Exception to Priestly Celibacy Rule

Pope Francis is expected to decide on Wednesday whether to make a limited exception to the celibacy rule for priests, one of the most controversial issues in the Catholic Church today.

In October, a summit of bishops known as a synod proposed allowing married men into the priesthood, only in the Amazon area, to address the serious shortage of clergy in remote parts of the rainforest region.

According to reports, the Vatican said the document, called “Querida Amazonia” (Dear Amazon), would be published at noon (1100 GMT).

If Pope Francis decides to allow married priests, this could lead to tension with his conservative critics, who see the Pope as being excessively liberal.

Traditionalists fear that any opening could eventually lead to the complete abolition of the celibacy rule for priests, which is not part of church dogma but has been in place since the Middle Ages.

The document is also expected to address other issues discussed by the regional synod, including social justice and climate change, minority rights and the role of women in the church.


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A previous issue between traditionalists and the pope was his decision in 2016 to soften a ban on Holy Communion for remarried divorcees, as proposed by a previous synod

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