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Portrait of Belgian Cardinal-elect Jozef de Kesel

October 12, 2016

John Allen of Crux offers a glimpse into the thinking of Archbishop Jozef de Kesel of Brussels, who has been named by Pope Francis to receive a cardinal’s red hat.

Archbishop de Kesel has suggested that the rule of priestly celibacy should be waived so that “people for whom celibacy is humanly impossible should also have the chance of becoming priests.” He has argued against using the term “mercy” in reference to couples who are divorced and remarried, because it sounds “condescending.” And he has professed his respect for homosexuals and “their way of living their sexuality.”

 
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  • Posted by: seewig - Oct. 12, 2016 7:16 PM ET USA

    We all can sense the problematics in the unusual approach of Pope Francis to his papacy. But let’s ask, perhaps, what God wants us to understand and do with such developments. We had a period of two popes with “orthodox” views and actions, which we thought were very encouraging and inspirational. But not all followed much of their guidance, and now we ‘received’ a Pope with a different, more secular(?) leaning. Does God thus give us this choice to prove a point for us? Wish for more space.

  • Posted by: ElizabethD - Oct. 12, 2016 6:59 PM ET USA

    The quote is that “people for whom celibacy is humanly IMpossible should also have the chance of becoming priests.” Celibacy means being unmarried so the only people for whom it's impossible are people who are married, at least until they are widowed at which point they become celibate. Maybe he means people who find CHASTE celibacy humanly difficult, but if they are imbalanced enough that it is impossible to grow competent in the virtue of chastity, surely they would not make a good priest?