I just read Pope Francis ruled against married priest in the Amazon. This decision is not what I would say is covered by “Papal Infallibility” definitions. The article below admits as much as the Catholic Church has granted exceptions in the past. If any Pope would have allowed married priest or women clergy it would be Pope Francis. He is guided though by church history, church traditions, and a serious counterweight of the conservative Wing of the Catholic Church. Pope Francis appointed Cardinal Robert Sarah as prefect of the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of Sacraments. Cardinal Robert Sarah is a strong advocate of traditional and conservative church traditions. I have read some of his works, and while I may disagree with parts of his conclusions, he hammers home the dangers of relativism.
In this instance I fear Pope Francis has out of weariness and pragmatism ruled against married priest and increased the Catholic Church’s irreverence in the world. Secular society and believers cannot accept blatant hypocrisy. If you have exceptions you cannot at the same time claim it is sacrosanct.
So what is the pragmatism? Pope Francis recognizes the church is deeply divided on this issue and has effectively pushed the controversy down the road apiece. There is also church administration obstacles like salaries and healthcare do not support a family in the Catholic Church. Than there is the prospect of further controversy should a priest marriage fall apart or other issues that plague families detract from his priesthood.
Do these outweigh priesthood shortage, the church sex abuse history, and the rate of depression and loneliness that priest suffer?
I have sidestepped the theological argument as it is too dense to capture here. Suffice it to say that by granting exceptions you undermine the position that married priest is an absolute no.
I propose a hybrid approach for now. Allow it with a glass ceiling. The higher calling is total dedication and celibacy. Leave it up to parishes and communities to find a balance?
Too clever by half: Shrewd but flawed by overthinking or excessive complexity, with a resulting tendency to be unreliable or unsuccessful.”
How often do we tread into waters beyond our expertise, consume a thimble size grain of knowledge, and proclaim with assurance what is right? Or equally as dangerous accept blindly ideology or beliefs without discernment and individual responsibility?