Simply Spirit: As the church seeks creative ways to serve local communities, ministerial equality should be high on the agenda, right alongside access to the Eucharist.
An Irish bishop urged his colleagues to establish a commission to discuss the possibility of ordaining married men.
Bishop Leo O'Reilly of Kilmore also wants the Irish bishops' conference to empower the commission to further study female deacons.
The proposal stemmed from a 10-month listening process that O'Reilly led in the Kilmore diocese, which led to a diocesan assembly and a new diocesan pastoral plan to tackle challenges facing the Catholic church, including the declining number of priests.
In the long run, the church will not be able to avoid issues such as women's ordination and who can take over the leadership of priestless communities, Schüller said.
In the 10 years since U.S.-born Sr. Dorothy Stang was killed by ranchers in the Amazon, the risks have not decreased, said one of the coordinators of the Brazilian bishops' Pastoral Land Commission.
Antonio Canuto, one of the commission's coordinators, said although the 73-year-old nun's assassination in Anapu brought awareness of the plight of the peasants with whom she worked, this has not been enough to decrease impunity in the region.
"The reality continues the same as it was when Sister Dorothy was alive," Canuto said.
Updated: The Association of U.S. Catholic Priests said they made the request primarily with concern for "the pastoral care of souls."
The largest Roman Catholic geographical district in Brazil, located deep in the Amazon along the Xingu River, has more than 800 Catholic congregations but only 27 priests.
Faith and Justice: The pope gave the press lots to write about after Francis held a free-wheeling press conference aboard an airplane again.
There are at least three reasons Pope Francis may be amenable to the debate on whether to allow married men into the priesthood.
Grace on the Margins: If the church allows married men into the priesthood, they will be a certain kind of man, opposed to full equality for women.
We say: A bishop who knows the needs of his people should not act alone, Pope Francis reportedly said. We join Francis in challenging bishops who embrace reform ideas.