(VATICAN CITY, Rome.) JUST IN: Pope Francis refused Wednesday to approve the ordination of married men to address a shortage of priests in the Amazon, sidestepping a fraught issue that has dominated debate in the Catholic Church and even involved retired Pope Benedict XVI #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Feb.12: Francis, in an eagerly awaited document, did not refer to the recommendations by Amazonian bishops to consider the https://time.com/4698125/pope-francis-married-priests-history/ ordination of married men as priests or women as deacons:https://time.com/collection/100-most-influential-people-2019/5567773/pope-francis-2/

Rather, the pope urged bishops to pray for more priestly vocations and to send missionaries to a region where faithful Catholics in remote areas can go months or even years without Mass: The papal dodge disappointed progressives, who had hoped he would at the very least put both questions to further study: It outraged liberal Catholic women’s groups.

And it relieved conservatives who used the debate over priestly celibacy to heighten opposition to the pope, and saw his ducking of the issue as a victory: Francis’ document, “Beloved Amazon,” is instead a love letter to the https://time.com/longform/inside-amazon-rain-forest-vr-app/ Amazonian rain forest and its indigenous peoples, penned by history’s first Latin American pope. Francis has long been concerned about the violent exploitation of the Amazon’s land, its crucial importance to the global ecosystem and the injustices committed against its peoples.

Quoting poetry as frequently as past papal teachings, Francis addressed the document to all peoples of the world “to help awaken their affection and concern for that land which is also ours and to invite them to value it and acknowledge it as a sacred mystery: ”Francis said he has four dreams for the Amazon: that the rights of the poor are respected, that its cultural riches are celebrated, that the Amazon’s natural beauty and life are preserved, and that its Christian communities show Amazonian features.

Francis had convened bishops from the Amazon’s nine countries for a three-week meeting in October to debate the ways the church can help preserve the delicate ecosystem from global warming and better minister to the region’s people, many of whom live in isolated communities or in poverty in cities: The Argentine Jesuit has long been sensitive to the plight of the Amazon, where Protestant and Pentecostal churches are wooing away Catholic souls in the absence of vibrant Catholic communities where Mass can be regularly celebrated.According to Catholic doctrine, only a priest can consecrate the Eucharistic hosts distributed at Mass, which the faithful believe are the body of Christ.

Given the priest shortage, some remote communities in the Amazon only see a priest and attend a Mass once every few months or years: For Catholic communities in the Amazon, some of which date from the time of the Spanish colonisation of the Americas, the continued priest shortage coupled with the spread of evangelical churches risks the very Catholic nature of the communities themselves:

In their final document at the end of the October synod, the majority of bishops called for the establishment of criteria so that “respected” married men in their communities who have already served as permanent deacons be ordained as priests: In addition, the bishops called for the Vatican to reopen a study commission on ordaining women as deacons, a type of ministry in the church that allows for preaching, celebrating weddings and baptisms, but not consecrating the Eucharist.

Francis had created such a commission in 2016 at the insistence of religious sisters who want more say and roles in church governance and ministry, but the group ended its work without reaching consensus:

#AceTelegramNewsDesk report …………..Published: IFTTT, [Feb 12, 2020 at 15:40]

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