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Synod responds to lack of priests

VATICAN CITY (CNS): Renewed efforts for increasing priestly vocations and a better distribution of the world’s priests were the leading suggestions for how the Church should respond to priestless parishes in the first drafts of propositions presented by the Synod of Bishops on October 14.

While the idea of ordaining “viri probati” or men – including married men – of “proven virtue” had been suggested by some at the synod, it failed to reach majority approval in order to be included in the first round of reports coming out of the synod’s 12 working groups.

Most reports, which were read in the presence of Pope Benedict XVI, reaffirmed the value of priestly celibacy.

The reports, summaries of which were released by the Vatican on October 15, represent summaries of priorities and suggestions that came out of each working group’s discussions.

They will serve as a starting point for a final list of propositions the synod fathers will deliver to the Pope.

Most of the language group reports expressed concern for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics and the need to find ways to make them feel welcome in the Church even though they cannot receive Communion.

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