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Synod to study ordaining married priests, but only in remote areas of the Amazon


The Vatican presented the working document for the Pan-Amazonian Synod.

It is the basic text for conversations bishops in the area will have with the pope in October.

It is entitled "Amazon, new roads for the Church and for an integral ecology," and one of the novelties is this proposal:

"Affirming that celibacy is a gift for the Church, it is requested that, for the most remote areas of the region, the possibility of priestly ordination be studied for elderly people, preferably indigenous, who are respected and accepted by their community; even if they already have a constituted and stable family. The purpose is to ensure the sacraments that accompany and sustain the Christian life."

This refers to the so-called "viri probati," old men of proven faith, from small Catholic communities in areas where there are no priests for long periods.

The proposal would be limited to remote areas, and is a suggestion from the indigenous communities in the area. They ask to imitate the attitude of "the primitive Church when it responded to their needs by creating the appropriate ministries."

When he returned from Panama, the pope already spoke about celibacy and opened the door to this possibility.

POPE FRANCIS
January 27, 2019
"A phrase by St. Paul VI comes to mind: 'I prefer to give my life before changing the law on celibacy.' There would be some possibility (to change it) only for remote places, like the Pacific Islands. It is something that must be considered when there is a pastoral need, the pastor must think of his faithful ones."

The Synod will begin in October and will gather a hundred bishops from the area and from other places involved in caring for the Amazon, the lung of the world.

One of the synod's objectives is to warn about indifference to how the ecosystem is suffering.