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Vatican officials are expressing an openness to allowing older, married men to become priests in remote areas like the Amazon in South America, according to a new Church document.
Document - Advance - Special - Assembly - Synod
A working document was prepared in advance of the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazonian Region, scheduled to take place in October.
Presented to news media on Monday, the document, also called the “Instrumentum Laboris,” asked the Synod to consider allowing married men of good status to become priests.
Celibacy - Gift - Church - Document - Areas
“Affirming that celibacy is a gift for the Church, the document states that, for the most remote areas of the region, the possibility of priestly ordination be studied for married men with families,” reported Vatican News, the Church’s official news publication.
“The clause, that aims to ensure the Sacraments that accompany and support Christian life, specifies that these men must preferably be indigenous elders who are respected and accepted by their community.”
Vatican - Consideration - Ordination - Men - Response
The Vatican noted that the consideration of allowing the ordination of married men was in response to the lack of priests in the region.
The document also looked into questions regarding the parameters for women to be in “official ministry,” noting the “central role women play today in the Church in the Amazon.”
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