Ghana’s Cardinal Peter Turkson has hinted that the ordination of married men is likely to be revisited as a subject of further study for the Catholic Church after the Amazon synod.
The Cardinal says it will be necessary for the Church to take a consistent position on the subject.
“This issue will probably be made the subject matter of a more detailed study of the issue with view to the Church taking a consistent position, not only in view of the Amazon, but in view of the universal Church,” the cardinal hinted.
During the special assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Church’s life and ministry in the Pan-Amazonian region, being held in Rome , participants have proposed the possibility of the ordination to the priesthood citing what is known as viri probati . A term used to refer to mature, married men – for ministry in remote areas of the Amazon.
The Prefect of the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development of Vatican noted that the challenges in the Amazonian region are similar to challenges faced in other parts of the world.
He averred that in some parts of Africa, trained catechists are leaders in their local communities, who preach the Word of God, baptize, bury the dead, and serve as extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist.
“But in that case, the guys in the synod here are listening to that and they say that is fine, but they can still can’t celebrate the Eucharist,” he said. “They are looking for someone who can, you know, anoint the sick, listen to confessions, celebrate the Eucharist with people, and that, of course, requires ordained ministry, for which, the examples in Africa then come short,” he opined.
Estimation had it that about two-thirds of the prelates attending the Vatican’s Synod of Bishops for the Amazon think there is nothing wrong ordaining married men as priests to address what they describe as severe lack of Catholic ministers across the nine-nation region.
Retired Bishop Erwin Krautler, who made this known to pressmen said, “I don’t know exactly, but I guess that two-thirds are in favor of the ordination of married men.”
The comment was however rebutted by some participants of the Synod, including Venezuelan Bishop, Johnny Eduardo Reyes.
The prelate shot down calls by a section of members of the Synod for married priests in the Amazon Region.
The Apostolic vicar of Puerto Ayacucho in Venezuela said there is no need ordaining married men as priests when priests in the cities could be reassigned to excluded places like the Amazon Region.
“All these priests and religious that we see on TV… It cannot be that they’re all studying in Rome,” the prelate said.