Pope says married men could be ordained priests if world's bishops agree on it

A bishop who met with Pope Francis in a rare private audience on 4 April has said in an interview that the two men discussed the issue of the ordination of “proven” married men – viri probati – in a serious and positive way.

Bishop Erwin Kräutler, Bishop of Xingu in the Brazilian rainforest, spoke to the Pope about Francis’ forthcoming encyclical on the environment, and the treatment of indigenous peoples but the desperate shortage of priests in the bishop’s huge diocese came up in the conversation. According to an interview the Austrian-born bishop gave to the daily Salzburger Nachrichten on 5 April, the Pope was open-minded about finding solutions to the problem, saying that bishops’ conferences could have a decisive role.

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Research By Dr Julian Randall


Title of study:

Losing an ecclesiastical vocation but retaining the calling: The disengagement of former Catholic priests and seminarians, and their subsequent career choices

Researcher’s name: Dr Julian Randall

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Ivan Solania - RIP

Ivan died peacefully on 15th November 2013. His funeral is on 3rd December 2013 in Kent.

Can we save the Catholic Church ?

The Catholic Church has been nearly destroyed by its resistance to change, censured for its abuses. Pope Francis has promised reform: radical theologian Hans Küng here presents what Catholics have long been yearning for: modern responses to the challenges of a modern world.

In 1962 the Second Vatican Council met in the hope they could, in the words of Pope John XXIII, ‘open the windows of the Church and let some fresh air in.’ Hans Küng and Joseph Ratzinger, the future pope, were both there.

In Can We Save the Catholic Church? Kung relates how after fifty years the Church has only grown more conservative. Refusing to open dialogue on celibacy for priests; the role of women in the priesthood; homosexuality; or the use of contraception even to prevent AIDS, the Papacy has lost touch. Now, amid widespread disillusion over child abuse, the future of Catholicism is in crisis.

Pope Francis seems sincere in his wish for a more compassionate Church. The time is ripe for reform, and here Küng calls for a complete renewal of the Church. As grassroots support grows Can We Save the Catholic Church? makes an inspiring and compelling case for offering a new Catholicism to the modern world.

Priests by baptism

We are each one of us sharers in the priestly office of Jesus Christ through  incorporation into the Body of Christ through our Baptism and Confirmation. How we exercise that priesthood may perhaps be determined by our circumstances and lifestyle. As Paul suggested, some by teaching in schools or pulpit or College, some by our community concern as carers, social workers, visitors of the sick and housebound, some by our capacity for political action as community leaders,etc, etc. Priestliness should not be manifested by our 'religious persona', but rather by our love and service of our fellow human beings. 'Professional' clergy should be anathema to the Ecclesia. Leaders should emerge from our local communities by their capacity for goodness, gentleness and capacity for service and wisdom and their drawing of all into unity.The very notion of 'hierarchy' is nowhere to be found in the example and teaching of Jesus. 


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