The Catholic Pope has been in the news every other day for his statements lately, often contradicting the religion itself and drawing widespread criticism. Now, the latest words from the Vatican called for courageous proposals to cope with a shortage of priests to help deal with the shortage of priests in the Amazon. The Vatican said it wouldn't rule out debate on whether married men could step in to fill the "precariously thin presence" of the Catholic Church in the Amazon.
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A document seeking input from South American bishops for the Vatican's 2019 meeting on the Amazon even suggested new "official ministries" for women to become ministers in the region. Pope Francis was adamant that it was not a call for women to become ordained priests, which the church forbids. The document did leave the possibility open to make some existing ministries in remote parts of Latin America official ministries where some women work.
The Vatican is calling for "new ways" to boost access to the Eucharist in a region of the world where there is around 1 priest for every 10,000 Catholics. In some remote areas, communities can go weeks or months without a priest to celebrate mass. The church asked for "courageous, daring and fearless" proposals to suggest solutions to the priest shortage.
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The Vatican wants the Amazon bishops to put forward concrete proposals about whether married men could celebrate Mass as priests where there are none. Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri said he was careful with how the proposal was worded. "We don’t want to preclude anything," Baldisseri said. Pope Francis has appointed a commission of experts to examine the possibility of an ordained female diaconate could be considered permissible today.
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