The meeting for the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazonian region has approved a final document which calls for the ordination of married men as priests and for women to be considered for diaconal ordination.
Approved Oct. 26, it is the result of a three-week meeting in Rome. The document presents the synodal assembly’s reflections and conclusions on topics ranging from environmentalism, inculturation in the Church, and the human rights of indigenous communities in the face of economic, environmental, and cultural exploitation.
The draft text was presented to the assembly on Friday night, and various amendments were proposed and debated during the approval process. The synodal document does not have magisterial authority; the conclusions are presented to Pope Francis, who will issue his own document later.
One of the document’s most anticipated and likely controversial items is the call by the synod fathers for the ordination of proven married men, in the face of an acute shortage of priests in many parts of the region. In this first of a two part series, Miriam Gormally met with Colm Holmes from We are Chuch, a group of concerned Irish Catholics committed to the renewal of the Roman Catholic Church on the basis of the Second Vatican Council, who have been calling for the inclusion of married men as well as the ordination of women for many years to discuss what this new development could mean for the Church in Ireland. She began by asking him whether the document was reason for hope.