Pope Opens Debate on Celibacy Requirement for Catholic Priests

Pope Francis celebrates an opening Mass for the Amazon synod, in St. Peter’s Basilica, at the Vatican, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019. Pope Francis is opening a divisive meeting on preserving the Amazon and ministering to its indigenous peoples, as he fends off attacks from conservatives who are opposed to his ecological agenda.(AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

VATICAN CITY—Pope Francis formally opened a meeting of bishops that will debate whether the Catholic Church should loosen its 1,000-year-old requirement of celibacy for priests.

The potentially momentous debate pits those who say ordaining married men could relieve the church’s clergy shortage against those who warn that doing so would undermine the distinctive character of the priesthood.

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Source: Wall Street Journal