Allowing Married Priests ‘Better for Everyone’: Cardinal Marx

Feb 4, 2022 | 0 comments

“For some priests, it would be better if they were married—not just for sexual reasons, but because it would be better for their life and they wouldn’t be lonely…. We must hold this discussion.”

So declared the Cardinal Archbishop of Munich, Reinhard Marx, in a recent interview – on the brink of another session of Germany’s ‘Synodal Path’.

In 2019, Cardinal Marx supported a call by bishops in the Amazon region for the ordination of married men as priests – to address a clergy shortage there, but stopped short of calling for a global recognition of married priests.

He has made it clear that he is not speaking of an end to the option of priestly celibacy, just the allowing of an alternative.

A close confidant of Pope Francis, Cardinal Marx sees recovery from the devastating impact of a 2018 report on clerical sexual abuse in the German church as the highest priority there.

The progress of the German ‘Synodal Path’ has been turbulent, with some Roman ecclesiastical voices speaking of the dangers of ‘schism’ – another split in the church.

For the full America report on Cardinal Marx’s interview, click here.

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ACI’s Campaign for Lumen Gentium 37

The Promise of Synodality

What we have experienced of synodality so far - and especially the presentation by Dr Nicola Brady on February 24th 2022 - gives ACI real hope that a longstanding structural injustice in the church may at last be acknowledged and overcome.

As all Irish bishops well know, the 'co-responsibility' they urge lay people to share - as numbers and energies of clergy decline - has been sabotaged time and again by canonical rules that deny representational authority and continuity to parish pastoral councils.  ACI's 2019 call for the immediate honouring of Lumen Gentium Article 37 becomes more urgent by the day and is supported by the following documents - also presented to the ICBC in October 2019.

The Common Priesthood of the People of God and the Renewal of the Church
It was Catholic parents and victims of clerical abuse who taught Catholic Bishops to prioritise the safeguarding of children in the church

Jesus as Model for the Common Priesthood of the People of God
It was for challenging religious hypocrisy and injustice that Jesus was accused and crucified. He is therefore a model for the common priesthood of the laity and for the challenging of injustice - in society and within the church.

A Suggested Strategy for the Recovery of the Irish and Western Catholic Church
Recovery of the church depends upon acknowledgment of the indispensable role of the common priesthood of the lay people of God and the explicit abandonment by bishops and clergy of paternalism and clericalism - the expectation of deference from lay people rather than honesty and integrity.

For the full story of ACI's campaign for the honouring of Article 37 of Lumen Gentium, click here.

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