Pope Francis has denied a request by some Bishops to ordain married men in remote areas, particularly, the Amazon, as priests.
The Pope’s decision, in a papal letter with the power of church teaching that was made public by the Vatican on Wednesday, brings to an end the advocacy by some Bishops intended to help people in remote areas have access to the Holy Eucharist.
More than two-thirds of Bishops who attended a meeting at the Vatican in October proposed that Church permits “suitable and respected men” within the community to receive some priestly formation to enable them to administer communion and celebrate the Eucharist.
The proposal by mainly Bishops from the Amazon Region was to address the issue of inhabitants facing extreme challenges receiving communion and participating in the Mass.
However, the Pope, who indicated that an official communication of the final document of the bishops, called “The Amazon: New Paths for the Church and for an Integral Ecology” will be presented soon, argued that, “It is not simply a question of facilitating a greater presence of ordained ministers who can celebrate the Eucharist.”
Pope Francis added that, the proposal had “a very narrow aim.”
The decision by the Pope is said to be backed by his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, who stepped down on health grounds.
For more than a millennium, the Church has promoted celibacy, even though it is not Catholic doctrine.
The Pope’s stance is considered a reinforcement of what the Catholic Church stance for, particularly, in the eyes of the conservatives.
Some have said that a contrary decision by the Pope will open the church up for criticisms and allow for many more proposals to relax the rules of the Church.