IN ROME

There’s a new news black-out on the latest synod in Rome. Some may well interpret this as yet another sign of Benedict’s authoritarian nature. They may be right. But the scope of the subjects discussed – “a purported shortage of priests, proposals to let priests marry, and whether communion should be offered to certain divorced Catholics and denied to politicians who support abortion rights” – strikes me as something that John Paul II would never have even allowed to be on the table. Some sources tell me that Benedict has not shut the door completely to a married priesthood. Personally, I think it is critical to the survival of the Western church at least. It already exists if the priest os a convert from Anglicanism, and if I were a newpaper editor, I would assign a reporter to write a feature on today’s married Catholic priests. Most people don’t even realize they exist. Who knows what might happen? But if the option for clerical marriage emerges under Benedict, you read it here first. I for one would not be surprised.

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