Episode: Catholic Leaders Are Discussing Married Priests, Female Church Leadership, and Climate Change


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Catholic Leaders Are Discussing Married Priests, Female Church Leadership, and Climate Change

Transcribed highlights of the show can be found in our episode summaries.

Right now, the Roman Catholic Church leaders are in the midst of a three-week-long meeting discussing the future of their ministry in the Amazon. Among the issues the synod is investigating: how church leaders should respond to chronic priest shortages, the role of women in official church leadership, and environmental degradation.

Under the previous popes, John Paul II and Benedict the XVI, synods—or meetings convening all of the top brass of the Catholic church—were largely symbolic, says Christopher White, the national correspondent for the Catholic publication Crux. Not so with Pope Francis.

“His two synods on the family wrestled with, among other issues, communion. And in the end, after two synods and two years of deliberation, Pope Francis issued a document that allowed for a cautious opening to communion for divorced and remarried Catholics, which did move forward the Church's pastoral teaching on that particular issue,” said White.

White suggested that the Amazon synod may conclude similarly.

“Among the many issues that they're going to be discussing in Rome over the next three weeks is perhaps relaxing the celibacy requirement for priests because there is such a shortage of priests in the particular region of the Amazon. And they're grappling with what to do about it,” he said.

White joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss the real or symbolic importance of synods, what makes the Amazon region particularly vexing to the Church, and why Protestants should stay abreast of an important Catholic meeting.

Today's episode of Quick to Listen is brought to you in part by Baylor University’s Truett Seminary, where Kingdom-minded women and men are equipped to follow their callings. By learning to think theologically, developing ministry skills, cultivating a community of support, and engaging in spiritual formation, Truett students are uniquely prepared to make an impact in the Church and the world. Learn more at baylor.edu/truett.

This episode of Quick to Listen is also brought to you by Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company, a ministry-focused insurance and payroll provider serving Christian churches, schools, and related ministries. For more information, visit BrotherhoodMutual.com.

This episode of Quick to Listen is also brought to you by the MA in Humanitarian & Disaster Leadership program at Wheaton College Graduate School, preparing leaders to serve the most vulnerable and the Church globally. For more information, go to wheaton.edu/HDL.

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Quick to Listen is produced by Morgan Lee and Matt Linder



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