The Portuguese group moderated by Archbishop Pedro Brito Guimarães of Palmas proposed that the implementation the ordination of married men as priests could be delegated to the bishops’ conferences in the region or entrusted to the local bishops.
The first Italian group noted that there has been concern among some synod fathers that that the proposal of married priests in the Amazon would have implications for the Church in other regions of the world.
“Other synod fathers believe that the proposal concerns all continents, that it could reduce the value of celibacy, or make the missionary impulse to serve the most distant communities be lost. They believe that, in virtue of the theological principle of synodality, the subject should be placed before the opinion of the whole Church and therefore suggest a universal Synod in this regard,” the Italian group A report stated.
The majority of Spanish groups also expressed open support for ministerial alternatives for women, including female deacons.
“Given the tradition of the Church, it is possible to recognize women's access to the existent ministries of the lectorate and the acolyte, as well as the permanent diaconate,” Spanish language group C, moderated by Bishop Jonny Eduardo Reyes Sequera, Vicar Apostolic of Puerto Ayacucho, stated.
Spanish group E, however, stated it was against the ordination of female deacons, but proposed instead some other ministerial alternative for women. This language group is moderated by Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa.
Italians participating in the Amazon synod proposed in their report the development of an “Amazonian Rite” that would open a path for married priests and female deacons.
The group, moderated by Cardinal Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said that the creation of an “Amazon Rite” would “express the liturgical, theological, disciplinary and spiritual heritage” of the local culture.
The Synod of Bishops on the Amazon is an Oct. 6-27 meeting on the Church’s life and ministry in the Pan-Amazonian region.
“These are not final texts,” Fr. Giacomo Costa, a communications official for the Amazon synod, said at the synod press conference presenting the language group reports Oct. 18.
“Everybody has something important to say … The synod must consider everyone’s contribution,” he added.
The synod drafting committee will meet over the next week to assemble into a document the recommendations of the language groups into the final document of the Amazon synod.
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The final document of the synod will then be voted on by synod members, on the penultimate day of the gathering. Per synod norms, it must pass with a 2/3 majority.
The document of synod recommendations will then be given to Pope Francis for him to use, or not, as he desires, in the writing of a post-synodal apostolic exhortation.
“The final document of the synod is offered exclusively to the Holy Father who is then going to do with it what he thinks fit,” Costa said.