Shortage of Priests in the Amazon
You may have read or heard about the recent three-week Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazonian Region, commonly referred to as the Amazon Synod. The synod concluded on October 27 in Rome.
This gathering was remarkable for many reasons, in addition to being the first such meeting to be organized around a particular ecological territory. Representatives of many indigenous groups were present, along with bishops and cardinals, and the agenda was formulated around two items in particular. The deep ecological crisis (involving both people and resources) that has been brewing in the Amazon region for many years was discussed at length, as was the reality of the extreme shortage of priests in the region, resulting in the people being deprived of the Eucharist.
Proposals were set forth to raise awareness of these critical situations in the Amazon and the final document was approved by the required two- thirds majority. That document included ideas to address the shortage of ministers, such as ordaining married men and the possibility of a permanent diaconate for women.
Pope Francis, in his encyclical Laudato Si, called for the of our common home; the synod was a logical outgrowth of that letter. For more information about the synod, please see www.Americamagazine.org/faith.