- Jan 18, 2020
Not wasting any time, the chairman of Pope Francis’s Synod of Bishops on the Amazon kicked things off Monday morning by putting the hotly contested issues of married priests and the role of woman squarely on the assembly’s table.
Pope Francis rued what he called a tendency to see some cultures as “second-class civilizations,” which, he said, “distances us from the reality of a people and separates us from them, which is disrespect.”
When the curtain rises on Sunday for the Oct. 6-27 Synod of Bishops on the Amazon, much of the attention will be focused on the possibility of ordaining married men to the priesthood as a way of providing sacraments to areas that might not see a priest more than once or twice a year.
Though it doesn’t actually mention the ‘viri probati’, the Synod’s preparatory document suggests studying “priestly ordination for elders — preferably indigenous, respected and accepted by the community — even if they have an established and stable family.”
While the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the Amazon aims to highlight the damage wrought by climate change and exploitation, the possibility of ordaining married men to minister in remote areas of the rainforest continues to garner more attention.
A week after the release of an open letter accusing Pope Francis of heresy, cardinals and theologians in Rome take up the pontiff’s defense.