Pope rejects a proposal to allow married priests in the Amazon

Discussion in 'Pope Francis' started by Rain, Feb 12, 2020.

  1. Rain

    Rain Powers

    Excerpt from article:

    Instead, Francis' highly anticipated document on the Amazon region, Querida Amazonia (Beloved Amazon) focuses mostly on cultural and environmental issues. Francis spices the 32-page document with plenty of poetry, but offers few, if any, pragmatic changes for the church . . .

    Why the Pope might have blinked

    Several factors may have caused Pope Francis not to bless his bishops' bold proposals.

    "I suspect the pope ducked the married priests question for several reasons, beginning with the fact that he thinks the real issues in the Amazon pivot on the survival of the rainforest and its peoples, and he wants the focus to be there," said John Allen, CNN's senior Vatican analyst.

    "Beyond that, he's obviously aware of the strong opposition a weakening of the celibacy requirement has stirred up, including from his predecessor Benedict XVI, and is probably also concerned about where it might lead, including in Germany, which is presently preparing its own synod where debate over celibacy is expected to be front and center."

    Archbishop John Wester of Santa Fe, New Mexico spoke to Francis in a private meeting together with other US bishops about the document just a few days before its publication. He told Catholic News Service that Francis' own explanation for why he wasn't backing the bolder proposals was that the Pope discerned that it wasn't the moment for change.

    "I don't even think at this point that it's something we're going to move on because I haven't sensed that the Holy Spirit is at work in that right now," Wester quotes the Pope as saying.

    See entire article here: https://www.wrcbtv.com/story/41691114/pope-rejects-a-proposal-to-allow-married-priests-in-the-amazon
    DeGaulle, Sam, HeavenlyHosts and 5 others like this.
  2. KyleHancock

    KyleHancock New Member

  3. Julia

    Julia Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.

    All praise, honour and glory be to dear God our Heavenly Father, to Jesus His only begotten Son and Holy Spirit for preserving celibacy in the Priesthood, at least for now, long may it last.

    May the most just, the most high, the most adorable will of Almighty God,
    Father, Son and Holy Spirit be done in all, for all and in spite of all for ever and ever. Amen.
    DeGaulle, Sam, HeavenlyHosts and 8 others like this.
  4. Dolours

    Dolours Powers

    Amen, Julia. The Holy Spirit is still protecting Christ's Church. Some more good news is that Cardinal Marx is not seeking re-election as head of the German Bishops' Conference. Keep up the prayers everyone. Maybe, for starters, offer a Rosary in thanksgiving for dodging a couple of bullets for the time being.

    Here's the beginning of Edward Pentin's report on the Exhortation - it's too long to quote all of it but worth reading at this link: https://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/querida-amazonia

    In ‘Querida Amazonia,’ Pope Francis Lays Out a Vision for the Future of the Amazon
    The post-synodal apostolic exhortation Querida Amazonia sets forth the Holy Father’s ‘Four Dreams’ for the region, but steers clear of endorsing married priests or women deacons
    Edward Pentin
    VATICAN CITY — Through “four great dreams” for a better ecological, social, cultural and ecclesial future, Pope Francis says he wishes his new post-synodal apostolic exhortation will “awaken” the world’s “affection and concern” for the Amazon region — and help other areas of the world to confront their own challenges.

    Entitled Querida Amazonia (The Beloved Amazon), his 16,000-word summary document is divided into four chapters, each dedicated to a “great dream.”

    Drawing heavily on Francis’ magisterium and documents of bishops’ conferences in the region, it follows last year’s Synod of Bishops on the theme of The Amazon: New Paths for the Church and for an Integral Ecology.

    The Amazonian region, the papal exhortation states, is a “great biome” shared by nine countries: Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Surinam, Venezuela and the territory of French Guiana.

    The most eagerly awaited aspect of the document — the ordination of married permanent deacons to make up for a shortage of priests in the region — is not explicitly endorsed, despite the majority of synod fathers voting for such a proposal.

    The Pope does not mention the words “married priests,” “priestly celibacy” or “viri probati.” He does say a “way must be found” to ensure priests can bring the Eucharist to remote areas, but places more emphasis on giving laity a greater role while underlining the importance of the priesthood.

    Also, despite the synod fathers discussing at length the possibilities of a female diaconate, he does not mention the topic, and rejects the push for holy orders for women, saying such a move would “clericalize women” and diminish their “indispensable contribution.”

    He also makes no explicit mention of an Amazonian rite of the Mass, also a subject widely debated at the Synod, but he does call for greater efforts to be made to respect native “rituals, gestures and symbols” and to “inculturate the liturgy among indigenous peoples.”
    Don_D, HeavenlyHosts, gracia and 5 others like this.
  5. Dolours

    Dolours Powers

    Having read part of it, I think it a pity that the Pope isn't as protective of Europe's Christian culture as he is of the pagan culture in the Amazon region. Also, I don't know why he's apologising yet again for the Church. Were the rubber barons Catholic missionaries?

    Anyway, let's thank God for small mercies. We don't yet have a Pachamama Mass.
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2020
    DeGaulle, Suzanne, Don_D and 4 others like this.
  6. Mario

    Mario Powers

    Amen! I'm not going to speculate today, just rejoice!:ROFLMAO: Praise God!

    Safe in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary!
    Booklady, DeGaulle, Don_D and 8 others like this.
  7. Tanker

    Tanker Archangels

    This is just pure opinion on my part......I see the pope as more a politician than a shepherd. His tenure has borne that out, IMO. Our last president, #44 Obama, was on the apology tour for America for 8 years. He apologized to absolutely everyone and it weakened America. I think that is what the pope is doing and he might not even know he is weakening Holy Mother Church. Although he is pretty smart so he might. Not that there is anything wrong with apology per se. It does weaken the original subject though when done over and over and over ad nauseam.

    But it seems we dodged a bullet indeed. Praise God.
    Suzanne, Don_D, josephite and 2 others like this.
  8. Dolours

    Dolours Powers

    It looks like some of the pushback had an effect on him. Environmentalism is his major priority and he wasn't going to risk that being overshadowed by a row over married priests and women deacons. He certainly hasn't shut the door on married priests and he can re-visit the women deacons issue after the latest study is completed. I'm fairly sure that he has packed that study group with supporters of women's ordination.

    The section about the Eucharist isn't great. He says a whole lot about preaching the Gospel but doesn't mention that Jesus also said "baptize all nations". All that talk about not imposing rules or turning people away looks like he's giving the nod to Communion for the unbaptized. And it certainly looks like there will be plenty of pachamama icons at Masses in both the cities and villages in the Amazon region.

    We've dodged a bullet temporarily on the married priests and deaconesses but it looks like women priests are a non-starter for this Pope. I wouldn't rule out a Pachamama Mass in a year or two.

    His closeness to Jeffrey Sachs is a worry. A secular Jew having so much influence in the Church conjures up fears of the Synagogue of Satan. All we can do is pray and trust that the Holy Spirit will keep on protecting the Church.
    josephite, Tanker and Mario like this.
  9. padraig

    padraig New Member

    Perhaps prayer helped?

    Anyway thank God . I thought he was going to do something dreadful.
    josephite, Sam, HeavenlyHosts and 8 others like this.
  10. Carol55

    Carol55 Ave Maria

    Well said Dolours, as usual. Thank you.

    Rain, Thank you for starting this thread. It is good news. We need to count our blessings and keep praying for more blessings too. +
    Sam, maryrose, HeavenlyHosts and 3 others like this.
  11. padraig

    padraig New Member

  12. Dolours

    Dolours Powers

    Can anyone explain for me in simple English what the following paragraph means. What is a markedly secular ecclesial culture?

    94. A Church with Amazonian faces requires the stable presence of mature and authoritative lay leaders,[136] that they know the languages, the cultures, the spiritual experience and the way of living in community of each place, at the same time that they leave space to the multiplicity of gifts that the Holy Spirit sows in all. Because where there is a peculiar need, He has already shed charisms that allow him to give an answer. This implies in the Church a capacity to give rise to the audacity of the Spirit, to trust and specifically to allow the development of an ecclesial culture of its own, markedly secular . The challenges of the Amazon require the Church a special effort to achieve a capillary presence that is only possible with a strong role of the laity.
    josephite, Carol55 and Mario like this.
  13. FatimaPilgrim

    FatimaPilgrim Powers

    Yes sir. I am prayerfully hopeful that this situation has shown the power of prayer and why so many of us have chosen to pray for, instead of criticize, Pope Francis. I have many questions and concerns about him and roll my eyes constantly at the things he says, but I've been led in prayer that the right thing to do is what our Blessed Mother asked us to do, to pray for our Pope, bishops, and priests. :)
    josephite, Sam, HeavenlyHosts and 2 others like this.
  14. Dolours

    Dolours Powers

    Keep praying, Padraig. Read the document again and you'll see that it's far from being all sweetness and light.
  15. FatimaPilgrim

    FatimaPilgrim Powers

    Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt come from you know who. Please try to Trust God and choose to believe that His hand is at work here in response to the faithful who lifted this cause up in prayer. I agree with Raymond Arroya's reaction to this great news:

    The Pope's final Amazon document is a shock and a wakeup call to progressives who have sought "revolutionary" change in the Church. Pope Francis has reaffirmed the tradition of ordaining celibate men, and ruled out ordaining women. Expect a ferocious response. #QueridaAmazonia
    Booklady, josephite, Dolours and 3 others like this.
  16. Mario

    Mario Powers


    I came across this definition of secular as it relates to a Church:

    (of clergy) not subject to or bound by religious rule; not belonging to or living in a monastic or other order.

    With such a definition in mind:

    This implies in the Church a capacity to give rise to the audacity of the Spirit, to trust and specifically to allow the development of an [Amazonian] ecclesial culture of its own.

    I believe this sentence speaks of a future development engineered by the audacious Spirit:rolleyes: to provide for new type of clergy from the laity (married priests)? Perhaps it is all a matter of timing.

    O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!
    Suzanne, josephite and AED like this.
  17. Carol55

    Carol55 Ave Maria

    I still think about the Pope's synodal path or synodality and maybe he is going to continue to write his exhortations in a way which allows for lots of different interpretations, idk.

    Is it this coming May that there is a meeting about synodality, maybe it was even another synod. I really can't remember the details. I just remember that something is planned right around this year's anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady of Fatima.

    I also continue to think about AL and how he sort of used a backdoor to allow adulterers to come to communion by stating that the Buenos Aries' bishop's interpretation to chapter VIII is the correct one, like a very late footnote or something to that effect.

    May Our Lady's heart triumph very soon. +
    Suzanne, josephite, AED and 1 other person like this.
  18. Glenn

    Glenn Moderator

    All I've heard is October 2020, the Church in Australia will gather for its first plenary council since the Second Vatican Council, nothing about May yet.
    josephite and HeavenlyHosts like this.
  19. HeavenlyHosts

    HeavenlyHosts Powers

    Thank you, Rain, for starting this thread.
    AED likes this.
  20. Frodo

    Frodo Archangels

    Yes, I agree. Here's the Register's take on it:


    ‘Querida Amazonia’: On the Question of Married Priests, a Papal Pattern Returns

    COMMENTARY: In Querida Amazonia, as in previous documents, clear questions were posed. Ambiguous answers were given, awaiting clarification by novel maneuvers.

    Father Raymond J. de Souza

    In regard to the magisterium of Pope Francis it’s not just what he teaches, but how.

    In both Amoris Laetitia and in regard to capital punishment, the manner of magisterial teaching was novel. The pattern is now repeated with Querida Amazonia, the Holy Father’s post-synodal apostolic exhortation.

    A Synod With a Predetermined Goal

    The key question for more than two years has been whether or not the Holy Father would approve the ordination of married priests in the Amazon region.

    That was the same story with Amoris Laetitia; two years before its release in 2016, Cardinal Walter Kasper was invited by Pope Francis to address the College of Cardinals on admitting the divorced and civilly remarried to Holy Communion. There was a lot of back and forth over the next two years, but when it all landed on the papal desk, that very question was there, waiting for his resolution.

    Recall the back story on the Amazon synod. After the twin synods on the family in 2014 and 2015, the Holy Father suggested that the next ordinary synod in 2018 be devoted to the priesthood, where the question of celibacy could be raised. The synod council — elected by the bishops at the 2015 synod — voted that combustible topic down.

    In 2017, Pope Francis announced the Amazonian synod, a “special assembly” that did not require any synod council approval and whose members would be entirely chosen by the Holy Father. A synod on the Amazon meant the question of married priests would be considered. Two years later, after a lot of back and forth, the question was on the Pope’s desk.

    An Ambiguous Answer

    What, then, is the answer to the question? Has the Holy Father decide to permit the ordination of married deacons as priests for the Amazon? The synod recommended it. Does the Holy Father approve?

    The answer is ambiguous. Pope Francis hinted in both directions without offering a clear answer.

    “The way of shaping priestly life and ministry is not monolithic; it develops distinctive traits in different parts of the world,” he wrote, seemingly in support of an exception to the rules for the Amazon (87).

    “In the specific circumstances of the Amazon region, particularly in its forests and more remote places, a way must be found to ensure this priestly ministry,” he added (89). “Every effort should be made to ensure that the Amazonian peoples do not lack this food of new life and the sacrament of forgiveness.”

    On the other hand, Pope Francis seemed to suggest that the solution to a lack of priests in the Amazon was not the ordination of married men, but a renewed missionary zeal.

    “This urgent need leads me to urge all bishops, especially those in Latin America, not only to promote prayer for priestly vocations, but also to be more generous in encouraging those who display a missionary vocation to opt for the Amazon region,” he wrote (90).

    The Holy Father then added this stinging rebuke to Latin American clergy in this footnote:

    “It is noteworthy that, in some countries of the Amazon Basin, more missionaries go to Europe or the United States than remain to assist their own Vicariates in the Amazon region” (132).

    Comfort abroad is apparently preferred to the difficulties of pastoral care at home.

    The Holy Father left it at that, not offering a clear endorsement of the synod proposal.

    A Back-Door Approval?

    But perhaps he did endorse the proposal through a back door?

    Before the 2018 synod on youth, Pope Francis promulgated a new apostolic constitution that governed the Synod of Bishops, Episcopalis Communio. That document introduced the new provision that “if it is expressly approved by the Roman Pontiff, the final document [of the synod] participates in the ordinary magisterium of the Successor of Peter.”

    A non-papal document could ex post be declared part of the papal magisterium.

    In the opening paragraphs of Querida Amazonia, Pope Francis writes:

    “I would like to officially present the Final Document, which sets forth the conclusions of the Synod, which profited from the participation of many people who know better than myself or the Roman Curia the problems and issues of the Amazon region, since they live there, they experience its suffering and they love it passionately. I have preferred not to cite the Final Document in this Exhortation, because I would encourage everyone to read it in full” (3).

    What does “officially present” mean? Does it mean that the Holy Father has expressly approved making the synod’s final document part of the magisterium? Does the synod’s recommendation for the ordination of married deacons as priests now become a decision with papal authority?

    Given that those are all obvious questions, the ambiguous phrasing “officially present” must have been chosen in part for its ambiguity. Time will tell if some bishops appeal to that ambiguity in order to advance the ordination of married priests.

    A Stealth Magisterium

    In the case of Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis, in a mammoth exhortation of some 60,000 words, never even referred to Holy Communion for the divorced and remarried. There was only an ambiguous footnote, interpreted in contradictory ways by different bishops. At one point, Pope Francis wrote a private letter to bishops in Buenos Aires saying that theirs was the “only interpretation.” The letter was leaked, a magisterium by stealth. Months later, it appeared in the official Vatican records as an “apostolic letter,” an ex post addition to the papal magisterium.

    In regard to capital punishment, Pope Francis ordered a change in the Catechism of the Catholic Church to characterize capital punishment as “inadmissible,” a term chosen because it has no specific theological meaning, a novelty invented for this occasion.

    Now in Querida Amazonia the pattern returns. Clear questions were posed. Ambiguous answers were given, awaiting clarification by novel maneuvers.

    Father Raymond J. de Souza is the editor in chief of Convivium magazine


Share This Page