The German synod invites the pope to review the celibacy of priests
The “Synodal Weg” approved at first reading by a large majority of 86% a document, entitled “The celibacy of priests – Strengthening and opening”, which invites the leaders of the German Church to present a proposal to this effect to the Pope . The German Church requires the admission of married priests into the Roman Catholic Church by the pope or a council. There are also demands on the pope to allow Catholic priests to marry and remain in office. Specifically, the document emphasizes the value of celibacy as a way of life for priests, but calls for the admission of married priests into the Roman Catholic Church by the pope or, given the importance of the issue, by a council.
Among the proposals, that of allowing priests already ordained to marry while remaining in office. During the debate, reports the website of the German Catholic Church katholisch.de, it was repeatedly pointed out that in the Orthodox Churches there are both celibate and married priests, and that already today married former Protestant or Anglican ministers may be admitted as priests. in the Catholic Church. The text approved by the assembly is in progress these days in Frankfurt – the third – but will be subject to a second vote at the assembly already scheduled for next fall.
In recent days, the hypothesis of a revision of the ecclesiastical discipline of compulsory celibacy has been proposed by two cardinals. Reinhard Marx of Munich, former president of the German bishops’ conference, pointed out that “some priests would be better off if they were married. Not just for sexual reasons, but because it would be better for their lives and they wouldn’t be alone. We need these discussions. “. And, therefore, “it would be better for everyone to create the possibility for celibate priests and married priests”. Cardinal Hollerich of Luxembourg told the French newspaper La Croix: “Let us ask ourselves frankly whether a priest must necessarily be celibate. I have a very high opinion of celibacy, but is it essential? I married deacons in my diocese who exercise their diaconate in a marvelous way, they give homilies with which they touch people much more strongly than us who are celibate. Why not also have married priests? And even if a priest can no longer live this loneliness, it is necessary to be able to understand it, not condemn it”.