German Catholic politicians call for married priests
BERLIN Sat Jan 22, 2011 10:46am IST
(Reuters) - "Several prominent Roman Catholic politicians have urged German bishops to lobby their countryman Pope Benedict for a change in Church policy to ordain married men in response to a worsening shortage of priests."
"The group, including the speaker of parliament and a cabinet member, backed up its call by quoting a 1970 essay by the present pope where he predicts the Church "will know new forms of ministry and ordain upstanding (lay) Christians as priests."
"The German bishops estimate that two-thirds of all Catholic parishes in the country will not have their own priest by 2020. .."
"German Catholicism was shaken by the sexual abuse scandals that swept through Europe last year. Some critics blame clerical abuse of minors on celibacy, a link the Church denies."
"In the wake of the scandals, polls have found that about a quarter of German Catholics are considering leaving the Church."