Cuenca High Life logo

Ecuador News

Vatican may waive celibacy rule for priests in the Amazon region of Colombia, Ecuador and Peru

The Vatican already allows Amazonian Catholic officials to wear traditional dress. Are married priests next?

The Vatican will soon consider allowing some married men in the Amazon region of South America to be ordained as priests, in order to help alleviate a shortage of Catholic clergy there.

In a document released on Monday, the Catholic Church announced that the question will be debated at a synod — a special meeting — to be held at the Vatican from October 6-27. A decision could allow married priests in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

“While affirming that celibacy is a gift for the Church, it is asked that for the most remote areas of the region, the possibility of priestly ordination of elders, preferably indigenous, respected and accepted by their community, even those who already have stable and consolidated families, be studied in order to ensure the sacraments to accompany and sustain Christian life,” the preparatory document for the synod said.

Pope Francis has previously suggested in interviews that he would be open to allowing some married men in remote regions to become priests.

Ordaining some married men as priests is not the same as allowing priests to marry. The document reaffirms the Catholic Church’s position on celibacy for the priesthood.

Although the Catholic Church currently only ordains unmarried men to the priesthood, some converts, from Anglicanism for example, are allowed to become Catholic priests even if they are already married.

The synod will also include discussion of women’s roles in the Catholic Church in the Amazon, indigenous peoples and environmental issues.

16 thoughts on “Vatican may waive celibacy rule for priests in the Amazon region of Colombia, Ecuador and Peru

  1. Way overdue. The same should go for nuns, also. This should be worldwide, not just local policy. The Church is waking up a little bit. The Jesuit Pope does not kid around. Good for everyone.

    1. The Roman Catholic Church has had married priests for years in the Eastern Rite churches. They are just as much a part of the Church as the Latin Rite. Vatican II attempted to address their often felt “second class” status.

      1. The Eastern Rite churches are NOT part of the RC church. They are not led by the pope, but by Patriarchs in their own particular Orthodox Rite – Greek, Russian, etc.

        1. That’s not true. There is an Eastern rite within Roman Catholicism, which recognizes the Pope as their leader. This group is not Orthodox. The Orthodox groups do not recognize the authority of the Roman pope,

          1. The answer is partially correct. In the Orthodox and Roman Catholic traditions there is sacramental authority and “de jure” or “jurisdiction.” Some Orthodox recognize the sacramental authority and even a position of primacy of the Bishop of Rome. No Orthodox recognize his “immediate’ jurisdiction. For example, a good friend of mine who was a Roman Catholic priest converted to Orthodoxy and joined one the Russian Orthodox Churches (capital “C”). Since his sacramental priesthood was recognized, he was not “re-ordained” but rather went thru a “vesting” ceremony. So, in fact, a degree of authority is recognized. 😉

      2. Please do research before you speak. Janet, commenting below, says what I was going to say. She kindly saved me the trouble. I attended Jesuit-run schools for 9 years, and I know RCC policies, even if I no longer follow them.

        1. There are 24 such autonomous Catholic churches: One Latin Church (i.e., Western) and 23 Eastern Catholic Churches.” Although each of them has its own specific heritage, including a married clergy, they are all in full communion with the Pope in Rome and thus considered Roman Catholic. I think you may be thinking Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, etc which is a different branch of Christianity. You may have attended a Jesuit-run school but I attended Eastern Rite LIturgies at an earlier point in my life. . 😉 .

        2. Please do research before you speak? So writes the guy that has driven across the Darien Gap on that super highway with a McDonald’s on both ends.

  2. Organized religion can be so bizarre. Somehow, mere humans feel that they can interpret/create laws of God. In the extreme, it leaves us with suicide bombers. Not so extremely, we now might be blessed by married priests, but only in three South American countries.

    1. Organize religions can be bizarre. So are the secular religions and ideologies, which have been far more destructive to human life and well-being.

  3. What is the salary for a priest? Are they paid weekly, monthly? Any commissions or bonuses? What about overtime or holiday pay? Time and a half? Is there a yearly cost of living increase? Is housing included? Is health care included? Is there a pension? Possibilities for advancement? Is there a union to negotiate salary and benefits? What sort of education or qualification is needed for such a job? Is online or correspondence training accepted? Is there a minimum or maximum age? Do they only hire from within or do they go outside the organization for employees?

    1. Most priests are given a better than “living” wage, have free housing and healthcare, annual vacations. Many receive gifts at Christmas from parishioners, and are given a stipend for weddings and funerals. To be ordained into the priesthood requires a Master of Divinity degree from a seminary, no online degree. No minimum age, other than usual age range for being in graduate school. Salaries depend on whether a priest is a diocesan priest (local bishop is your boss), or a priest in a monastic order such as a Franciscan or Dominican (your bosses are the local head of the order and the local bishop). Possibilities for advancement especially for diocesan priests are good: priest, Monsignor, bishop, archbishop, cardinal, pope! And in some cases, order priests can advance too, e.g. Pope Francis is a Jesuit.

  4. They’re losing ground to the evangelicals in those communities. Gotta do something to stem the tide.

  5. “Ordaining some married men as priests is not the same as allowing priests to marry. The document reaffirms the Catholic Church’s position on celibacy for the priesthood.”

    The church still doesn’t get it. Human sexuality cannot be negated. If you don’t allow priests to get married (gay or straight marriages), guest what kind of people will want to be priests.

  6. I will answer my own preceding question in case it is not obvious. It will attract people who have no sexual interest in mutual relationships with adults.

Comments are closed.