German bishops’ vice president expects Amazon synod to propose married priests ‘with civil job’

Light of truth

Bishop Franz-Josef Bode, the Vice-President of the German Bishops, states in a new interview that he can “very well imagine that there are also priests with family and [civil] job, similar to our deacons, some of whom are married and have a job.” This model of married “priests with a civil job,” he predicts, will “probably be presented to the Pope by the Latin American bishops at the Amazon Synod in October.”

Speaking with the regional newspaper Osnabrücker Zeitung, Bishop Bode makes it clear that he is in favor of “rethinking the link between celibacy and the priesthood.”

“Priests with a civil job” could “celebrate the Eucharist” and also provide “the corresponding priestly services,” he says.

In Bishop Bode’s view, this model will “probably be present-ed to the Pope by the Latin American bishops at the Amazon Synod in October.” He explains that “the high and proper estimation of celibacy shall always be preserved, but it should be enriched by other priestly forms of life.” In that same interview, the German bishop also speaks in favor of female deacons “as a sign of recognition, esteem, and change of status of women in the Church who are today in large numbers active in charitable fields and in the field of the diaconate.”

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