Vatican Sacks Bishop Who Wanted Women Priests
William Morris also argued church should consider ordaining married men
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2011 10:40 AM CDT
Pope Benedict XVI attends John Paul II Beatification Ceremony on May 1, 2011 in Vatican City, Vatican.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – An Australian bishop claims the Roman Catholic church sacked him because he advocated the ordaining of women and married men. The Vatican confirmed today that Bishop William Morris had been "removed from pastoral care" by Pope Benedict XVI, and Morris claims the ouster was a result of a 2006 message in which he argued that the church should consider ordaining women and married men, in light of the current priest shortage.

The pope, however, is staunchly against anyone other than celibate men being ordained in the Roman Catholic church. Morris claimed his message sparked a Vatican investigation. The Vatican's move against Morris was strong by its typical standards, the AP notes; usually, the Vatican will ask a church leader to resign and then simply announce that the pope has accepted the resignation.