Brazilian bishop urges ordination of married community elders as priest shortage grows

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Bishop Erwin Krautler, right, prelate of Xingu, is pictured here with Pope Francis. Photo courtesy of Bishop Erwin Krautler, via L’Osservatore Romano

Bishop Erwin Krautler, right, prelate of Xingu, is pictured here with Pope Francis. Photo courtesy of Bishop Erwin Krautler, via L’Osservatore Romano

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BELEM, Brazil (RNS) Brazil's National Conference of Bishops is considering a proposal to ordain married community elders as a way to ease the shortage of Catholic priests in rural areas.

  • Ordinations to the vocational diaconate were restored in 1975 and not limited to celibates. Do not know where the author or the bishop have been since that time.

  • Deacon John M. Bresnahan

    This article reads as if the writer has little knowledge about the current Catholic Church.
    The Catholic Church does have a regular ordained married CLERGY . We are called deacons and we can do almost every ministry priests can carry out. That includes baptisms, weddings, funerals, graveside services as well as administration of parishes.
    Deacons may lead communion services with already consecrated hosts.
    Yet in many parts of the world deacons are scarce. However, deacons should be used to their fullest before we make a radical change in the Latin priesthood.

    fc

  • Ben in Oakland

    You cannot become a priest without a vocation– a literal CALLING from god.

    Apparently God isn’t calling a sufficiency of priests to the Catholic Church anymore.

  • As far as I can see, they’re pretty underutilized in Syracuse. The only ones I can recall encountering were a college chaplain 30 miles away from any city and a local merchant whose was made use of as needed by a small town parish.

  • It has been remarked that the diocesan middle management is not too keen on some of those who do call (see Apb. Curtis on this point). And Francis will cost us many vocations.

  • Very interesting article indeed.
    I would like to suggest, a lot of the elders (oldies) are probable celibate anyway.
    The question is could they still learn and grow enough information to be able to carry out the role of Priesthood.
    It is not fair to suggest Pope Francis will drive anyone away. If people desert the barque of Peter, that is a free choice, remember, “through my fault, through my fault, through my own most greavious fault.” Don’t ever fool yourself into thinking God will accept you blaming anyone else for jumping ship.

  • ben in oakland

    Then they aren’t really vocations, are they?

    You would think that a call from god would be irresistible, wouldn’t you? But you seem to be saying that God calls people, and either doesn’t appear to know they will refuse, or doesn’t care. And do you seriously think people say, “God is calling me to the priesthood, but I really don’t I like that Francis fellow. Good will just have to wait until he sends a suitable pope.”

  • ben in oakland

    what I just said.

  • deoacveritati7

    Ordaining married clergy IS SIMPLY NOT the answer.

    Many married priests are a disgrace to the Church and SHOULD NOT be allow.

    This is going against the rule of celibacy in the Church.

    I have heard many married priests say “Oh don’t call at such hour because I have small children”

    So when we need a priest a 1o 2 IN THE MORNING what are we going to do? It seems not to bother him because he has a family, particularly small children he doesn’t want bothered??

    MARRIED CLERGY IS A BIG MISTAKE AND ERROR OF THIS SECULAR AGE.

    What about elder married community? A bad idea also what we need is to start teaching Catholicism as it once was and start seeing that encouraging vocations in our children is a blessing not a curse.

    Married priest WILL NEVER be able to give themselves totally to the service of Christ and his Church because they already have their hearts committed to their family.

    And yes the apostles were married but Christ ask them to leave all behind and they did. Today it is a whole different matter because the grace to follow Christ and His teaching are simply non-existant no we have so called Catholics who will put their needs first and after they will put Christ needs as simple as that.

    What this apostate is suggesting is simply wrong and finding the easy way out. and his proposal should be rejected period.

  • deoacveritati7

    Ordaining married clergy IS SIMPLY NOT the answer.

    Many married priests are a disgrace to the Church and SHOULD NOT be allow.

    This is going against the rule of celibacy in the Church.

    I have heard many married priests say “Oh don’t call at such hour because I have small children”

    So when we need a priest a 1o 2 IN THE MORNING what are we going to do? It seems not to bother him because he has a family, particularly small children he doesn’t want bothered??

    MARRIED CLERGY IS A BIG MISTAKE AND ERROR OF THIS SECULAR AGE.

    What about elder married community? A bad idea also what we need is to start teaching Catholicism as it once was and start seeing that encouraging vocations in our children is a blessing not a curse.

    Married priest WILL NEVER be able to give themselves totally to the service of Christ and his Church because they already have their hearts committed to their families.

    We need men and women who will love and dedicate themselves completely to the Christ and His Church.

    And yes the apostles were married but Christ ask them to leave all behind and they did. Today it is a whole different matter because the grace to follow Christ and His teaching are simply non-existant now we have so called Catholics who will put their needs first and after they will put Christ needs, as simple as that.

    What this apostate is suggesting is simply wrong and finding the easy way out. and his proposal should be rejected period.

  • Tony de New York

    “Bishop Erwin Krautler” A German who has an AGENDA. Funny that those bishop that work for vocations they FOUND and PRODUCE a vocations.

  • Tony C

    Perhaps Bishop Krautler’s proposal is a sign of the times from the Holy Spirit. Recall that Paul had instructions for Timothy in considering elders to ordain to the priesthood. They didn’t have to be theologians; they just had to be upstanding men of deep faith, imbued with the Holy Spirit, capable of leading in their communities as priests. There are such devout men in communities today, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, they will do fine.

  • The permanent Deaconate is a possible solution but their formation period is short and part-time and they function as a married cleric; available when their secular jobs permit them and their on-going formation is catch can where active lay leaders have too answered the call to serve in the Vineyard. Lack of clerics are not the problem; saying yes is.

  • jen

    We are getting close to women-priests…..

  • Regina

    I do not know about elders priests… what we need to do is pray for vocation, if a widow man is called to the priesthood that is just awesome. Deacons are great, but the most important duty in the vocation is still Consecrating the Host and hearing Confessions which deacons cannot do….

    Let’s pray for vocations to the priesthood…

    St Jean Marie Baptist Vianney, pray for us!

  • Tony de New York

    ‘We are getting close to women-priests’
    White people never get tired of their personal magisterium. Everything is about ME ME ME, I am white, I know better than those little people form the south.

    It has to be my way or no way.

    As a Hispanic I found that very offensive and pathetic.

  • Joseph

    People:

    The supreme law of the Church is The Salvation of Souls! All else must be subject to that Law! There has been a married clergy in the Catholic Church from the time of the Apostles until the ninth century. And, for those who are unwilling to look beyond their noses, the Catholic Eastern Rites have always had married priests, including the Greek Orthodox Church. Remember, Christ said to Peter, “Whatsoever you bind on earth, it is bound in heaven. And whatsoever you loose on earth, it is loosed in heaven. In other words, it it the Pope, in union with the bishops, who have the mandate from Jesus Christ to govern the Church as they are inspired by the Holy Spirit Who guides it. A married clergy in no way is contrary to Divine and Catholic Faith, and should be again be permitted as the Catholic communities are in need of the sacraments for their sanctification and salvation. A good first step in that direction would be to call again the thousands of married priests who have left the ministry.

  • Terry Firma

    The Force is with them, judging by that wonderful Darth Vader statue in the background.

  • Mercury613

    Money talks. As usual.

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