During a conference of the Association of Religious News Journalists, the Minister General of the Friars Minors, Fr. José Rodríguez of Spain, said neither "opcional" celibacy nor the ordination of women are real solutions to the crisis of vocations and the shortage of priests.
The 50 year-old Franciscian, who will lead the Friars Minors for the next five years, said the Church could allow diocesan clergy to marry, but “this would not resolve the problem (of the shortage of vocations), as we have seen in other countries and in other religious denominations.”
Likewise he underscored that the Catholic Church, “since its foundation by Jesus Christ, has never admitted women to Holy Orders,” and he recalled that this was the same reality for “the protestant churches until only very recently.”
Fr. Rodríguez said the countries from which the Friars Minors are receiving the most vocations are Poland, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Korea, Vietnam, and Rwanda.
In Rwanda “the death of two franscicans, one from Rwanda and one from Korea, has produced the curious phenomenon of an increase in vocations.”