In his apostolic exhortation “Querida Amazonia” (Beloved Amazonia), Pope Francis made no mention of the idea of ordaining married men to the priesthood so that far-flung Catholic communities would have regular access to the Eucharist.
The “unprecedented” environmental and social crisis in the Amazon calls for “a deep personal, social and structural conversion” that leads to new ways of caring for “our common home,” according to the Synod of Bishops for the Amazon.
To proclaim the Gospel message of hope, the Catholic Church in the Amazon must open new paths of evangelization in the region, including by instituting new ministries for lay men and women, the Synod of Bishops said.
More than a half century after a group of bishops at the Second Vatican Council made a solemn pledge to live a simple lifestyle close to their people, a group of participants from the Synod of Bishops for the Amazon signed a new pact in the Catacombs of Domitilla.
As tropical forests fall victim to loggers, miners and ranchers, the Catholic Church must take sides to defend the Amazon region and its people, said a bishop whose Bolivian diocese has been ravaged by fire this year.
The Synod of Bishops for the Amazon is not a “referendum” on priestly celibacy; it is looking for ways to provide for the sacramental life and formation of the people there, U.S. Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston said.
According to a Vatican News summary of the Oct. 8 morning session of the Synod of Bishops for the Amazon, the proposals included discussing the “possibility of diaconal ordination for women, so as to emphasize their ecclesial vocation.”