Amazon, ecology, indigenous peoples… The meeting, a gathering of 185 bishops to address the key issues of the amazon territory for three weeks, it could seem of little relevance to the Church from the gaze doctrinal of Rome. But the conclusion of this particular synod, held in the Vatican during the month of October, it opened a door of consequences are still unpredictable. The assembly of bishops recommended that in some areas can be studied the possibility of ordaining married men. A decision that must be approved by the Pope, but that assumes a historical opening and gets hopelessly on the table the thorny question of celibacy. The meeting stops, among other things, a remarkable state of agitation between the more traditionalist of the Church, enervated with the movement and has even supported acts of vandalism against the indigenous community invited by the Pope (they were thrown in the river several figures deposited in a Church to be considered pagan idols). The gap enlarges.
The unit of measure for the changes in the Church is the century. So no one should expect revolutions. But the point 111 of the final document voted on by the bishops —is passed straight to the negative with 128 members in favor and 41 against, but with a minimum quorum of 120— finally gave a response to one of the controversial aspects in the last few weeks. “We propose to establish criteria and provisions on the part of the competent authority […] to ordain priests, men skilled and recognized in the community that have a permanent diaconate fruitful and to receive adequate training for the priesthood, being able to have family legitimately constituted and stable to sustain the life of the christian community through the preaching of the word and the celebration of the sacraments in the more remote areas of the amazon region”, read the document.
The synod has become, during the Pontificate of Francis is an important tool to initiate real changes beyond its ephemeral staging vatican. In parallel to the discussions routine, underlies a strategy of openness and closeness to the faithful to stop their bleeding in the world. The document that then compose the Pope, become apostolic exhortation, will be the guideline that will be the real input of possible changes. It happened already with the meeting of bishops on the Family —were two— which produced the document Amoris Laetitia, where the Pope was in favor of catholics divorced could receive communion.
The new opening hardly will affect only to the Amazonia, and it can cause a domino effect. According to the text, it is recorded that “some bishops” in the assembly “was pronounced for a approach a universal theme.” A clarification is important in a time in which it is discussed in churches as important as the German, the question of celibacy or the ordination of women priests. “It is an opening logic and to some extent predictable. But it is something that will create problems, of course. You will lose the supremacy of the clergy based on the difference on the rest that gives celibacy. If married men can also become priests, where will it look?”, points to a person who has participated in the discussions of the synod assembly.
The Pope has indicated on several occasions that celibacy will not be touched during his Pontificate, and that he would be willing to give your life for him, as it was pointed out on one occasion Paul VI. The controversy with the sector traditionalist, warning that a violation of doctrinal severe, it was already taken for granted. Figures of weight as cardinal Gerhard Müller, is no less than the former prefect of the Doctrine of the Faith, opposing head and point out that “not even the Pope can abolish celibacy” [despite the fact that he himself was favourable to it in 1992]. Experts in the history of the Church, such as Alberto Melloni, consider that it is a response purely captious. “It is not traditionalism, it is ignorance. The problem is not celibacy. But if you can only choose cures among the celibate. Mandatory celibacy was no longer if he came from eastern Church or Anglican (the priests converts who already had families could continue to be in the catholic rite Latin). And When it ends for some, it ends all”, he says.
Many, among which also Melloni, consider that beyond this element, the form of decision used in the bishops of a region can have the power to choose some roads be decentralized some powers. An idea that flies also these days the debates that are keeping the German Bishops ‘ Conference, in which it has been put on the table the question of celibacy and the ordination of women reaching out to untie the fears of the schism. The discussion of German, which preoccupa notably in Rome, will test again the flexibility of the Church. Commanded by the cardinal and president of the episcopal conference, Reinhard Marx, represents another problem for Francis. This time on his own ground: that of the progress.