BREAKING NEWS – Rome, Italy – Pope Francis I recently declined to approve the ordination of married men to address the priest shortage in the Amazon, sidestepping a fraught issue that has dominated debate in the Catholic Church and even involved retired Pope Benedict XVI.
In an eagerly-awaited document, Francis didn’t even refer to recommendations by Amazonian bishops to consider the ordination of married men and women deacons. He later spoke about the issue, stating that he was reconsidering the matter under certain conditions. “If a priest wants to get married in that part of South America, I will allow it if he passes a test. All he has to do is swim from one side of the Amazon River to the other side. But before he dives in, he must smear himself with blood, and strokes through an area that has plenty of piranhas. And if his bride-to-be still wants him, she can marry his skeletal remains.”