Left Menu
Development News Edition

Amazon Catholics pledge to press on after Pope says no to married priests

Reuters | Updated: 13-02-2020 05:42 IST | Created: 13-02-2020 04:21 IST
Amazon Catholics pledge to press on after Pope says no to married priests
Representative image Image Credit: Flickr

Catholic communities across the Amazon said they would keep pushing for married men to be allowed to celebrate Mass in the remote rainforest region after a papal decision on Wednesday blocked their path to the priesthood.

In one of the most significant decisions of his papacy, Pope Francis on Wednesday dismissed the proposal designed to ease an acute scarcity of priests in the Amazon, where the Roman Catholic Church faces growing competition from Evangelical Christian faiths. The proposal, put forward by Latin American bishops in 2019, had alarmed conservatives in the deeply divided 1.3 billion-member Church, who feared it could chip away at the centuries-old commitment to celibacy among priests.

The Argentine pontiff's decision affects isolated communities in Brazil, Peru, Colombia and other countries in the Amazon basin. It places Amazon Catholics in a delicate position, forced to temper their desire for change with religious obedience. Although some said they were disappointed, many more held out hope the pope could change his mind.

Martín Quijano, a bishop in Pucallpa in the Peruvian Amazon and a participant in the synod of Amazon bishops that proposed allowing married priests, said he had faith the decision was not final. "The door is still open," he told Reuters. "The pope is asking for reflection. This proposal is still ongoing."

Giuliano Frigeni, the bishop of Parintins, a Brazilian town on the banks of the Amazon river, pledged to fight on, despite the obstacles. "Now we have to roll up our sleeves and work even harder," he said. Francis delivered his response in an Apostolic Exhortation, three months after the proposal passed the synod by 128 votes to 41. Apostolic Exhortations are used to instruct and encourage the Catholic faith but do not define Church doctrine.

Under the synod-formulated proposal, older married deacons with stable families who were proven leaders of remote Catholic communities would have been free to be ordained as priests. Deacons, like priests, are ordained ministers. They can preach, teach, baptize and run parishes, but they cannot say Mass. Married men can become deacons.

Because only priests can say Mass, people in at least 85% of Amazon villages cannot attend the liturgy every week and some have not done so for years. Frigeni said he had only managed to ordain 20 priests in his 20-odd years in Parintins, while there is only one bishop in the Brazilian Amazon who hails from the region.

He added his deacons were severely overworked. On Saturdays and Sundays, they would spend up to 11 hours in canoes traveling to preach in remote riverside communities. But despite those efforts, he said their top priority would always be to their families, rather than the Church. "We need bishops and priests from here," Frigeni said.

Alfredo Ferro, a Jesuit priest in Leticia, the capital of Colombia's Amazonas province, said he believed that sooner or later a more progressive policy would emerge. "The Church is a little slow, it's not easy to move. It's like an elephant," he said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Download The Devdiscourse News App for Latest News.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Diya Jalao for COVID 19: How Modi put Power Grids and power warriors at risk?

While Prime Minister Narendra Modis staunch supporters are busy in search of hidden science behind the sudden announcement of 9minutes9pm campaign but his ignorance of the actual science has put the nation in another danger. The scientists ...

Energy markets post-COVID 19: Recovery may take time, transition to continue

As oil markets have crashed, the experts believe the oil prices will come down drastically and continue making the energy transition a financial burden for many economies for a couple of years.  However, the market alone was never...

'Diya jalao' for COVID 19: Modi needs to practice his teachings and control fake news on social media

In his video message to the nation on Friday the Prime Minister talks about peoples collective power to win the invincible. However, he has made no concreate efforts to win over the confidence and represent the collective power of the polit...

Tourism post-COVID 19: Lessons learned, out-of-box strategies to ensure the revival

In the pre-COVID 19 period the tourism industry was seen with much hope throughout the world. However, the COVID 19 pandemic has completely paralysed the tourism industry and its dependent sectors. The tourism industry in the post-COVID 19 ...

Videos

Latest News

Lisbon court seizes NOS shares held by Angola's dos Santos

Sonaecom, sub-holding of Portugals Sonae, said on Saturday evening a Lisbon court seized shares in telecommunications firm NOS of a holding company it co-owned with former first-daughter and Angolan businesswoman Isabel dos Santos. Sonaecom...

Trump threatens tariffs on oil imports to "protect" U.S. energy workers

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Saturday he would impose tariffs on crude imports if he has to protect U.S. energy workers from the oil price crash that has been exacerbated by a war between Russia and Saudi Arabia over market share. If...

Group of singers spread awareness about COVID-19 in Telangana

A group of singers spread awareness about COVID-19 among villagers of Telangana state by singing songs.A group of people led by Deva of Mandeppalli village here has been educating the public at Thangallapalli Mandal by singing a song relati...

Reuters Sports News Summary

Following is a summary of current sports news briefs. World Games 2021 moved to retain broadcasters, official scorers CEOWorld Games Birmingham CEO Nick Sellers said they had little choice but to move the 2021 event to 2022 as a clash with ...

Give Feedback