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Rome Reports

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Synod proposes ordination of married men who have been deacons

The pope closed the works of the synod. He said he will prepare a magisterial document based on the conclusions of these days. He has asked Catholics to look at all the dimensions of the Amazon’s reality, and not only the practical proposals of the document.

“The danger could be the superficiality. Maybe. It is a danger. I’m not saying they will do it, but society sometimes asks to look only at what the synod decided on one concrete disciplinary issue, what it decided on this other one; if this party won, or this one lost. These are small disciplinary things that have their transcendence, but that would not do the good that this synod must do: that society take charge of the diagnostic that we have made.”

On the last work day, the synod voted on the final document, point by point.

One of these points mentions the possibility of ordaining married men to serve communities in isolated areas. The text reminds that some areas go years without a priest. This measure can apply only to those who have previously been permanent deacons “in a fruitful way.”

Of the 181 participants, 128, over two-thirds, supported this measure, while 41 opposed it. Twelve abstained.

The synod also proposes increasing women’s roles in the Church, creating a new specific ministry called female leader of the community. Almost everyone agreed, with 160 for and 11 against.

The assembly voted on the possibility of instituting female deacons. Of the 181 participants, 137 were in favor and 30 were opposed.

In his address, the pope assured that he would reinstate a Vatican commission to study the ancient female diaconate, and determine whether or not it would be possible to introduce it nowadays.

“I accept the request to call back the commission, or to open it with new members to continue studying the permanent diaconate in the primitive Church. I accept the challenge that women have put out there, “and let us be heard.” I accept the challenge.”

The final document includes many other decisive issues regarding the Amazon, such as drug trafficking and the migration and marginalization of indigenous youth in big cities.