Indigenous' opinion on married men as priests and female deacons

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While the possibility of married male priests or permanent female deacons in the Amazon region has been taking up much of the synod discussion, indigenous people from Brazil say these details are not the most important to them. 

Whether Catholic religious leaders in their area are men or women, they say the most essential aspect is having respect and people walking with them, defending their rights.

Indigenous from Bahia (Brazil
“Today we struggle to defend the Amazon. Today we struggle for rights, human rights, indigenous rights, women's rights, minority rights. It is more important for us to have a person supporting us, whether in a married or unmarried way. We are desperate to get support.”

Indigenous from Pará (Brazil)

“People don't care if priests are men or women, only that they respect the way of life, the traditions and timing of each population. This is why it does not matter if they are men or women. According to the experience of my community, we have several missionaries in our community, mostly men. Living together has always been peaceful, because they have always built a space of respect for both the Church and indigenous peoples.”

They explained their desire for pastoral care is not so desperate they are willing to sacrifice their culture. They are hoping to have them both – the sacraments and acknowledgment of their dignity. 

They ask for any priests or missionaries sent to the region to be respectful of their way of life and the indigenous' appreciation for the Amazon, which is their source of food, transportation and life. 

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