Pope Francis: "No to married priests, no to female deacons"

I don’t think anybody who is paying attention thinks that the debate is over or that this issue is going away. The Cardinal in charge of the Amazon Synod has already stated that he is going to continue pushing for married priests through official Vatican channels:

Plus everyone is aware that the Germans have already stated that they will continue to discuss married priests at their synod as well.

Despite the title of this thread, the Pope did not actually say “No” to married priests and female deacons - he said nothing concerning them. Pope Francis is a master at stringing people along, intentionally or unintentionally, causing them to believe that he may eventually give one side or another their way. He can’t outright say no to these proposals, even if he wanted to, because it would alienate his most enthusiastic and influential supporters and they would start looking past him to the next Pope in the hope that he will grant their wishes. Some have already started to abandon him; look at the statements put out by the lay group taking part in the German synod and the bishop who wrote much of the Amazon document leading up to the synod. They viewed this as a stab in the back. But others have clung to the hope that since he didn’t definitively rule anything out, he’s going to sneak in the changes later when no one’s paying attention, or a future synod will discuss these issues again (which is what I think will happen).


Growing up in the 1950s, I recall Americans in general were encouraged to reproach ourselves first, to reproach our neighbors reluctantly, and to reproach our leaders - who are also our neighbors -when absolutely necessary.

Today, the media urges us to reproach ourselves never, to reproach our neighbors often, and to reproach leaders, especially bishops, all the time.

Thus is all justified under the magic word Accountability. But in discerning issues as married priesthood, and church leaders, we have to be aware of our current culture bias.


Google up Saint Elzear and Blessed Delfina. Married and chaste their entire lives.

A perceptive article from the Register.

The part about conscience worries me, to be honest, regarding Amoris Laetitia contradicting an earlier encyclical.


Ditto. Just remember that even the best Catholics sometimes forget to differentiate between Church teaching and their opinion of what Church teaching is. We have a Pope because we may not always agree, and we need some authority to keep us guided. This time it is progressives who are criticizing Pope Francis. As he is criticized from both sides, I think he must be steering a pretty good course.

Did you notice how both sides like to claim that he is giving it to pressure from the left (or right), based on their own perspective? Well, the servant shouldn’t expect better treatment than the master.


Greeetings in Christ,
The Holy Father did the right thing. I thought he would.

God bless and Mary keep you.

1 Like

All people, married, single, or celibate are called to be chaste. Not sure what you are trying to get at here.

1 Like

Ya think?

I have to admit, watching from the sidelines does provide a variety of amusements.


What has priestly celibacy (or the lack of it) got to do with clericalism?


That will eventually be sorted out as appropriate; perhaps not in the next few years; but sorted it will be, I suspect.

Similar to the Register was the report from Crux. Thanks for the link.

Ah - need to correct my number of deacons. More like 18,000+. Not sure where I came up with 4K. That is a bit over 1 deacon per parish.

I don’t see it as a “solution”. I see it as more priests, and I most seriously doubt that we would be overwhelmed by married priests; more like underwhelmed, just as we are underwhelmed by ordinations now.

But we have been on this path since the mid to late 1950’s with a gradual erosion of the percentage of baptized Catholics attending Mass weekly. Recent reports in the fairly drastic drop in Catholic weddings bodes no promises either; we are in a trajectory not particularly dissimilar to Europe, even though we may have about 4 times as many attending Mass.

To anyone rally paying attention, the comments of Pope Benedict (on speaking of a remnant Church) echo eerily.

celibate |ˈseləbət|
abstaining from marriage and sexual relations, typically for religious reasons: a celibate priest.
• having or involving no sexual relations: I’d rather stay single and celibate.
a person who abstains from marriage and sexual relations.

chaste |CHāst|
abstaining from extramarital, or from all, sexual intercourse.
• not having any sexual nature or intention: a chaste, consoling embrace.
• without unnecessary ornamentation; simple or restrained: the dark, chaste interior was lightened by tilework.

This. A distinction with a difference.

1 Like

I think the focus on the supposed lack of priests is looking at things upside down (in the West anyway). I think the issue is not the lack of priests but the lack of numbers in the congregation. Here in England we seem to have a lot of parishes and churches and there does seem to be a narrative of us having not enough priests, but these churches are often not even full on Sundays. Is the issue then a lack of priests or a lack of laity? Would allowing more married priests result in more people in the pews?


Both, but primarily lack of laity…Due to:
Non doctrinal religious education and preaching;
Neglect of marriage;
Neglect of evangelism; obsession with molding Catholics to fit in;

1 Like

I just don’t see it that way. I see Pope Francis as sincere. I don’t envy him though. The thing is that if he were to take the message here and devote it to agreeing with and defending the proposals about married priests and female Deacons in this Amazon exhortation, that would be all that would be remembered from the “Amazon” Synod. The Amazon itself would certainly not be remembered.

Also Pope Francis can’t just rubber stamp the Amazon Synod with the Germans truly going off the rails.

Generally speaking, Pope Francis prefers the concept of ambiguity to communicate his thoughts and beliefs (Amoris Laetitia, who am I to judge?, deaconess, etc…), and he prefers to label people who disagree with him “rigid”—behaving like Pharisees. He is hesitant to speak with certainty and clarity (Dubia).

1 Like

Chaste: not indulging in unlawful sexual activity; pure, decent, or modest in nature.

Continent: characterized by self-restraint, esp. by total abstinence from sexual activity.

You are confusing the two terms; all people are called to be chaste, including married people.

Married people may engage in sexual intercourse and still be chaste, but if they do, they are not continent.

And most people confuse the two terms or are unaware of the second. .

Sorry I posted.


1 Like

There is a lack of both; and the lack of laity practicing their faith leads easily to a lack of priests. When I was a kid in grade school, the parish had two priests and sometimes a third “in residence” (a teacher at the high school 15 or so miles away. we now have about 1 priest per parish, and we has some priests covering more than 1 parish; one I know of covers three. None of those three are getting the coverage they need; they are getting a minimum of coverage - the sacraments, and not hardly any more.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.