“I believe the celibacy” of priests “has great significance” and is “indispensable for our path toward God to remain the foundation of our lives,” Benedict XVI argues in a four-handed book with Cardinal Robert Sarah, which will be published next week and from which the French newspaper Le Figaro published an excerpt today.
In October last year, Catholic bishops called for the ordination of married men as priests, a solution to address the scarcity of clerics in the Amazon, a historic proposal that could end centuries of Roman Catholic tradition.
Most of the 180 bishops from nine Amazon countries also called on the Vatican to reopen a debate on ordaining women as deacons, arguing that “it is urgent that the Church promote and confer equitable ministries for men and women”, according to the final document, quoted at the time by the Associated Press.
The proposals were included in the document approved at the end of a three-week synod on the Amazon that Pope Francis called in 2017 to draw attention to threats to the rainforest but also to improve priesthood among indigenous peoples. .