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Spanish Episcopal Conference
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Spanish Episcopal Conference
World News

Spanish Catholics to propose optional celibacy and women priests

by Kelly Valencia

Catholic bishops in Spain want the Vatican to consider proposals on optional celibacy and the ordination of women and of married men.

Earlier this month, the Spanish Episcopal Conference, a body that represents Spain’s 70 Catholic dioceses, discussed the proposals during a special meeting.

Originally proposed by the Archdiocese of Barcelona, the group argues the church needs to “rethink the role of women in the Church” to give them “greater leadership and responsibility” notably in places “where decisions are made.”

“A need for greater care” for those who have been divorced or remarried or with an alternative sexual orientation, are also issues they are hoping the Vatican would consider.

After months of consultation with more than 215,000 lay people, priests and bishops, the document will be presented to the Vatican in October 2023, during the General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.

“There is a clear request that, as a Church, we hold a dialogue about these issues … to be able to offer a more holistic approach to our society,” the document read.

It will be the first time since the late 1970s that the idea of allowing women priests is up for debate within Spain’s highly conservative Catholic Church.

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