Letter from Rome: From synodality to a creative pastoral approach

How the Amazon Synod might have brought forth a new movement of the Spirit
Letter from Rome: From synodality to a creative pastoral approach

Indigenous leaders and bishops taking part in the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazon Region carry a cross between Rome's Castel Sant'Angelo (rear left) and the Vatican's St. Peter's Square. Pope Francis gathered bishops at the Vatican to champion the isolated and poverty-struck indigenous communities of the Amazon, whose way of life is under threat. (AFP photo)

Journalists and commentators have been spilling a lot of ink over the recently ended Amazon Synod. And, naturally, they are mostly focusing on these three items that emerged from the Oct. 6-27 gathering:

  • The Synod Fathers' recommendation that married men who are already permanent deacons be ordained to the presbyterate (priesthood) in certain cases.
  • The request for further study on how to formally recognize ministries carried out by women, including the possibility of allowing them to become deacons.
  • The synod assembly's suggestion that people of the Pan-Amazon region be allowed to develop a liturgical rite that better incorporates religious elements and expressions unique to their culture.
These recommendations have deeply alarmed certain Catholics who boast of being "orthodox" and "faithful."

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