The Catholic Church has thrown open the debate over married priests with a preparatory document for the Amazon synod suggesting bishops consider ordaining “elders,” who have an “established and stable family,” and are respected by their local community.
The proposals, contained in a working document for the Synod on the Pan-Amazon Region which will take place in Rome from 6-27 October, link the question of ordaining married men to the pastoral needs of communities in the region.
“Communities have difficulty in celebrating the Eucharist frequently due to the lack of priests,” the document, released by the Synod of Bishops on Monday 17 June, explained. “For this reason, instead of leaving the communities without the Eucharist, the criteria of selection and preparation of the ministers authorised to celebrate it should be changed.”
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The Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region will be held in the Vatican from 6 to 27 October. For more information, click here.