What Will Francis Choose: ‘Expert’ Opinion or Orthodoxy? by Michael Warren Davis

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Pope Francis presides at the closing Mass for the Vatican's synod on the family Oct. 25, 2015. Credit: Daniel Ibáñez/CNA.

By Michael Warren Davis, Crisis Magazine, October 29, 2019

Michael Warren DavisNobody was under any illusions about the stakes at the Synod on the Amazon. Ostensibly, the synod was convened to help the Pope address concerns about the Amazon in consultation with Amazonian church authorities. It was evident from the very beginning, however, that synod would serve instead as a staging-ground for progressively-minded bishops to challenge Church teachings that have stood unquestioned for millennia. Given that a well-known ally of liberation theology like Cláudio Cardinal Hummes was chosen as relator general, many assumed the final document was drafted before the synodal fathers even bought their plane tickets.

Now the synod is over—and, to quote its most vocal progressive, Bishop Erwin Kräutler: “It is what we expected, of course,”

The final document does indeed recommend the Pope allow for the ordination of married men in the Amazon and asks that he “reopen” the possibility of female deacons. Francis has consistently refused to rule out the possibility of either. The synodal fathers also request that Rome consider the possibility of formulating an “Amazonian Rite” liturgy.

As Robert Cardinal Sarah pointed out during the synod, the decision to ordain married men in the Amazon “would mean in practice to question the obligatory nature of celibacy as such.” If married priests are a viable solution to the vocations crisis in the river basin, why shouldn’t they be so in Germany or France or America? ….

Read more at  crisismagazine.com/2019/what-will-francis-choose