Belgian Bishops Reportedly Back Women Deacons, End to Priestly Celibacy

In the lead up to this year’s closing session of the Synod of Bishops on Synodality, the Belgian bishops have apparently opened a national discussion on allowing women deacons and ending the requirement of priestly celibacy.

According to Belgian Catholic news site Kerknet, the Belgian bishops’ conference ahead of the October 2-27 synod have sent a letter to all dioceses proposing, among other things, an openness to the women’s diaconate and an end to mandatory priestly celibacy.

In the draft text, apparently sent to various diocesan discussion groups and councils throughout Belgium, makes three basic points, the first of which is that “a synodal missionary Church requires open dialogue with the world around us.”

The Church, it says, cannot limit itself “to a one-way street” when it comes to sharing the Gospel with the world.

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