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By di Sandro Magister, L’Espresso, Feb. 12, 2020

What is most striking in the post-synodal apostolic exhortation “Querida Amazonia,” made public today, February 12 2020, is its total silence on the most anticipated and controversial issue: the ordination of married men.

Not even the word “celibacy” appears in it. Pope Francis desires “to configure ministry in such a way that it is at the service of a more frequent celebration of the Eucharist, even in the remotest and most isolated communities” (no. 86). But he reiterates (no. 88) that only the ordained priest can celebrate the Eucharist, absolve from sins and administer the anointing of the sick (because it too is “intimately linked to the forgiveness of sins,” footnote 129). And it says nothing about the extension of ordination to “viri probati.”

No news on women’s ministries either. “If they were admitted to Holy Orders,” Francis writes in no. 100, “it would lead us to clericalize women” and to “restrict our understanding of the Church to her functional structures.”

The curiosity that arises immediately, from reading “Querida Amazonia,” is therefore to understand to what extent the bombshell book written by pope emeritus Benedict XVI and by Cardinal Robert Sarah in defense of the celibacy of the clergy, published in mid-January, influenced the exhortation and in particular its silence on the ordination of married men.  ….

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