- Jan 18, 2020
New comments by retired Pope Benedict XVI backing clerical celibacy while Pope Francis considers making an exception to the rule in the Amazon has prompted widespread debate, with many calling for clarification on the role of a pope emeritus.
At least for the early part of 2020, it seems likely the biggest papal bombshells will come in things the pope is expected to publish.
On the heels of a bold call by Amazon region bishops for married men to become priests, Pope Francis is urging openness to new ways, and in a possible slap at conservative critics who fear he is weakening the Catholic Church’s foundations, he cautions faithful against entering the “swampy waters of ideologies.”
Bringing the Oct. 6-27 Synod of Bishops on the Amazon to a close, Pope Francis said Saturday that it’s important not to focus on intra-ecclesial debates but on the fate of the Amazon rainforest and its peoples.
According to Mexico’s most important cardinal, the Catholics who stole the small wood statue of a topless pregnant woman and those within the Church who are climate change deniers are the “black sheep” of the 1.3 billion-member family that is the Catholic Church.
Judging from Friday’s reports, the Oct. 6-27 Synod on the Amazon, there’s overwhelming consensus on most points, such as Pope Francis’s call for an “integral ecology.” Yet even within that climate of basic harmony, there were also scattered notes of dissent on two hot-button questions: Married priests and women deacons.