Pope Francis has called for a new priest-led priesthood that he believes would bring justice to the Church.
The pontiff made the call during an ecumenical gathering on Sunday in Rome, according to the Vatican.
Francis said he was convinced that the Church could be saved if it had a priestly role and a priesthood that would be in keeping with the teachings of the Gospel.
He spoke to members of the Catholic church’s governing body, the Pontifical Council for Legislative Text, during a meeting held at the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace.
Francis told the group, which includes bishops from all the world’s major faiths, that he hoped the new order would be an opportunity to work on the issue of inequality in the Church and to create a new way of thinking about justice.
He also urged the Church to make its work a little more visible and to be more aware of its role in society, the Associated Press news agency reported.
The pontiffs message comes as the United States, France and Italy have been debating proposals to introduce new rules for bishops in the Catholic Church.
A similar proposal has been put forward by Pope Francis in France.
While there is no specific mandate for the pope to call for a change in the way bishops are chosen, Francis has long called for greater transparency and transparency of the process of choosing bishops.
Francisco Soto, a professor of theology at Georgetown University and author of “The Last Pope: The Last Pope and the End of the Church,” told The Associated Press that he believed Francis was making the call in a very specific way.
“He said it was in order to encourage the Church’s priests to be involved in solving problems, to be engaged in the formation of priests, to understand how to do that and so forth,” he said.
“That was very clear.”
The pontifical council, made up of 15 cardinals, is supposed to decide on the future of the church, the Pope said.
He added that the bishops would have the opportunity to choose a new pope at the end of the year.
Franciscans spokesman Federico Lombardi said in a statement that he would be meeting with Pope Francis on Monday to discuss the pope’s message.
“The pontificate of Pope Francis began with a call for mercy and forgiveness, and today’s ecumenics are the culmination of the call for the formation and leadership of the Holy Father’s successor,” Lombardi wrote in the statement.
“The call to a new era of love and justice, and the new ecclesial leadership, are essential for the future development of the faith, the common good and the commonwealth of Christendom.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.