No Vocation Crisis for Melkite Archbishop

Heading a southern Lebanese diocese in a complex part of the world, the one problem Melkite Archbishop George Bakhouni of Tyre says he does not have is finding priests. The archbishop knows all the arguments against relaxing the celibacy requirement in the Latin church, but he said that ordaining married men is the most naturally pastoral response to every Catholic’s need for regular access to the sacraments. “Christianity survived in the Middle East because of the married priests,” the bishop said. Because they are married with families and homes, they tend to stay, even when conflicts and hardship send many celibate priests fleeing to safety. “We always propose this to the Latin church…but we always feel a lot of reticence when we mention this issue,” he said.

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

“To the Bone,” which recently premiered on Netflix, tells the story of 20-year-old Ellen (Lily Collins), who is living with anorexia nervosa.
Karen RossJuly 21, 2017
The distinction between the disciplines of theological work and how these function in our common life is necessary.
What is it about habits and cassocks that capture the imagination of even secular audiences?
Ashley McKinlessJuly 21, 2017
Why Ron Hansen will never read the Gospels the same.
Ron HansenJuly 20, 2017