Belgian Catholics ask the Pope to allow women to become priests

Belgian Catholics ask the Vatican to allow married women and men to be ordained priests.

Thousands of believers from our country have been questioned in recent months for a report that will go to the Vatican, in preparation for a Synod in October 2023. Then all the bishops gather together to reflect on the Church. The most important appeal of Belgian Catholics to Pope Francis: to allow married women and men to be ordained priests. “The reasons why women are not accepted into office are not enough for many believers, but even more: they look like they are from another world,” the report states. “There are calls from all sides to open the priestly ministry for women and married couples.”

The Belgian Church has been calling for more commitment to women in the church for some time, says Gert de Kerpel, a spokesman for the Bishops’ Conference. De Kerpel expects other European countries to make the same appeal. But experts don’t think this will happen any time soon. Theologian Hans Geebbels (KU Leuven) says: “If anything changes tomorrow, married men will also be able to become priests, because this is about a law – celibacy – being modified. But the female priesthood is surrounded by so much theology that it doesn’t just change the laws. I think the current Pope is sensitive to it. He had previously studied whether women could be ordained deacons. On the other hand, many countries are still against it. So who wants to be the pope causing a schism in the church?

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A few days earlier, Francis announced that he wanted to appoint two women to the former men’s commission appointing bishops. According to de Kerbell, this is where his priorities lie.

Denton Watson

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