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Belgian bishop calls for married men in priesthood

AFP  |  Vatican City 

A Belgian called Wednesday for married men to be allowed into the priesthood, a hot-button topic within the as it grapples with falling numbers and sexual abuse scandals.

"I am convinced that some young people, who have drawn from the baptismal vocation their call to wed, would gladly say 'here I am' if the church were to call them to the priestly ministry," told a global meeting of bishops being held at the Vatican.

He said the ordination of married men would help attract more priests to the calling.

Kockerols, Auxiliary of Brussels, was speaking on behalf of all Belgian bishops, a of the Belgian episcopal conference told the religious website "CathoBel".

The debate as to whether celibacy fosters sexual dysfunction and abusive behaviour in prelates has intensified in recent years.

Pope has signalled that he is open to considering changing the doctrine to allow the ordination of married men.

But Belgian warned that, in terms of the vocation crisis, it was "not the only solution".

"We know that in the Protestant or Orthodox world too, where pastors can marry, it is difficult to find young men to serve the church," he said.

The has recently led the debate on celibacy following revelations of the sexual abuse of thousands of children.

A study published by the German church last month showed that at least 3,677 minors were abused by clergy between 1946 and 2014.

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, who heads the German Bishops' Conference, apologised to the thousands of victims and promised a broad discussion that would also examine questions on celibacy and the church's sexual morals.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, October 10 2018. 22:45 IST
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