Understanding the debate over married priests at the Amazon synod


Then We caused Our Messengers to follow in their footsteps; and We caused Jesus, son of Mary, to follow them, and We gave him the Gospel. And We placed in the hearts of those who accepted him compassion and mercy. But monasticism which they invented for themselves — We did not prescribe it for them — for the seeking of Allah’s pleasure; but they did not observe it with due observance. Yet We gave those of them who believed their due reward, but many of them are rebellious. (Al Quran 57:27/28)

20190401T1549-1779-CNS-AMAZON-SYNOD-JARAMILLO_800-690x450 (1)Source: Crux

Every so often, we get official confirmation of the obvious, and, surprisingly enough, it still makes waves. Such is the case again this week with the release of a preparatory document for an October summit of bishops on the Amazon, which confirms that the ordination of married “elderly people,” meaning men, will be on the agenda.

From the moment the Synod of Bishops on the Amazon was announced, it’s been clear that the issue of the viri probati, meaning tested married men who are pillars of their communities, would come up. Requests for consideration of the possibility have been voiced with increasing urgency by bishops and other Catholic personnel from the region for decades, and it was basically unthinkable a whole synod would go by without it being floated again.

Crux spoke to a Brazilian theologian in February who said then that the viri probati would be discussed when the bishops meet.

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