- Dec 9, 2019
On the heels of a bold call by Amazon region bishops for married men to become priests, Pope Francis is urging openness to new ways, and in a possible slap at conservative critics who fear he is weakening the Catholic Church’s foundations, he cautions faithful against entering the “swampy waters of ideologies.”
Bringing the Oct. 6-27 Synod of Bishops on the Amazon to a close, Pope Francis said Saturday that it’s important not to focus on intra-ecclesial debates but on the fate of the Amazon rainforest and its peoples.
According to Mexico’s most important cardinal, the Catholics who stole the small wood statue of a topless pregnant woman and those within the Church who are climate change deniers are the “black sheep” of the 1.3 billion-member family that is the Catholic Church.
Judging from Friday’s reports, the Oct. 6-27 Synod on the Amazon, there’s overwhelming consensus on most points, such as Pope Francis’s call for an “integral ecology.” Yet even within that climate of basic harmony, there were also scattered notes of dissent on two hot-button questions: Married priests and women deacons.
One might say that just as the Rhine flowed into the Tiber at Vatican II, in the words of the title to Ralph Wiltgen’s controversial history, so today the Rhine is also flowing into the Amazon.
One of the few indigenous priests participating in this month’s Synod of Bishops on the Amazon has weighed in on the issue of celibacy, saying it is a virtue everyone can live, but refrained from offering an opinion on the debate surrounding married priests in the Amazon.