According to a new report at Corrisepondenza Romana, the Catholic news agency run by the eminent Church historian & author Professor Roberto de Mattei, the post synodal apostolic exhortation on the Amazon Synod, which is expected to be promulgated very soon, is now, based on a partially leaked text, expected to strike a definitive blow against the discipline of clerical celibacy. Mattei writes:
Various bishops have now received part of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation written by PF on the Synod on the Amazon. In the Exhortation, Paragraph 111 of the concluding document of the Synod is essentially repeated:
“Many of the ecclesial communities of the Amazon region have enormous difficulties with access to the Eucharist. Months and years pass before a priest can return to a community to celebrate the Eucharist, offer the Sacrament of Reconciliation, or celebrate the Anointing of the Sick for those who are ill.
We appreciate celibacy as a gift of God in the measure that this gift permits the missionary disciple who is ordained to the priesthood to dedicate himself fully to the service of the Holy People of God. It stimulates pastoral charity and we pray that there will be many vocations that live priestly celibacy. We know that this discipline “is not required by the nature of the priesthood itself (PO 16), even though for many reasons it has a convenient relationship with it. In his encyclical on priestly celibacy, Saint Paul VI maintained this law, explaining the theological, spiritual and pastoral reasons that motivate it. In 1992, the post-synodal exhortation of Saint John Paul II on priestly formation confirmed this tradition in the Latin Church (PDV 29). Considering that legitimate diversity does not harm the communion and unity of the Church but manifests it and serves it (cf. LG 13; OE 6), as the plurality of rites and existing disciplines testifies, we propose that, in accord with Lumen Gentium 26, the competent authority establish criteria and dispositions to ordain as priests men who are suitable and recognized by the community, who, having served fruitfully as deacons and received an adequate formation for the priesthood for the purpose of supporting the life of the Christian community through the preaching of the Word and the celebration of the Sacraments in the most remote places of the Amazon region.”
It should be noted that when considering any leaked text from unnamed sources, a measure of caution should be taken. It is unclear, based on the information currently available, whether the leaked text is an official or final draft, or one that may yet be subjected to further revision.
We will provide updates to this story as they become available.
Translated by Giuseppe Pellegrino – @pellegrino2020
Steve Skojec is the Founding Publisher and Executive Director of OnePeterFive.com. He received his BA in Communications and Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2001. His commentary has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Crisis Magazine, EWTN, Huffington Post Live, The Fox News Channel, Foreign Policy, and the BBC. Steve and his wife Jamie have seven children.