Catholic Bishops calling on the Pope to allow married deacons to become priests

Pope Francis celebrate Mass for the closing of Amazon synod in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (Massimo Valicchia/NurPhoto / Getty Images)

Catholic Bishops are considering a proposal that would allow some married men to become priests.

Whether the proposal is purely about business, perception or ethics, some say it signals the church may be leaning toward widespread change.  

“I think this is a sign that the church knows that people don’t trust them anymore,” said Patrick Noaker, an attorney.

Nearly 200 bishops are now calling on Pope Francis to allow married deacons to become ordained priests. The decision aims to address a shortage of priests in nine Amazonian countries.

“I think that, in fact, one of the big reasons for this change is in order to manipulate perception,” Noaker added.

Noaker has represented thousands of abuse victims over the last 20 years.

“I don’t have much confidence that this is going to be a significant impact on child protection and protecting Catholic children,” Noaker said.

While the church makes changes over losing market share to Protestants in Central and South America, Noaker also says they should be much more worried about child sex abuse concerns.

“I’m afraid every decision by the Vatican has to run through this filter,” he said. “Is it going to help with this problem because that’s the most significant problem facing the church and frankly our country? We have to protect our children.”

The Pope is also mulling over possibly welcoming women deacons as well, but not everybody supports the ideas.

“It’s against not only the tradition, but against the will of Christ himself,” said an unnamed Catholic person.

Meanwhile, the Catholic Church presiders say the call is a sign many in the institution believe human struggle, not centuries of tradition, should come first, even in the U.S.

“The Pope is signaling you gotta be open to dialogue and you have to be open to the God who’s constantly doing things and making things new again,” said Father Jim O’Shea, of the Provincial of the Passionists.

The final decision is in the Pope’s hands. His decision is expected to be announced by the end of the year.