Profile image
By CNA Daily News - Vatican (Reporter)
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views
Last Hour:
Last 24 Hours:

Amazon synod bishop: 'Indigenous people do not understand celibacy'

% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

Vatican City, Oct 9, 2019 / 08:40 am (CNA).- A contributor to the working document for the Vatican’s Synod of Bishops on the Amazon region made his case Wednesday for the priestly ordination of married men in the region.

“I’m saying this with great sincerity – there is no other option,” Bishop Erwin Kräutler, the retired head of the Xingu prelature in Amazonian Brazil, said at a Vatican press briefing Oct. 9.

“The indigenous people do not understand celibacy,” Kräutler added. “For them, at least those I have met… they can not understand this thing that a man is not married, that he does not have a woman taking care of the house, of the home.”

The bishop added that he was often the object of suspicion or pity when he explained to indigenous communities that he did not have a wife, and he joked that he sometimes found it easier to say that his wife was “far away from here.”

Kräutler, 80, was part of the committee that developed the instrumentum laboris, or working document, for the October meeting of bishops. That document has been the subject of criticism by some bishops, who say it is not reflective of Catholic teaching on several key points.

The bishop said that he had raised the issue of priestly celibacy to Pope Francis in 2015, during preliminary discussions regarding a meeting of bishops to discuss the Amazon.

“There are thousands of communities in the Amazon that don’t have the Eucharist except for one, two, three times a year. These people are practically excluded from the Church,” he said.
“What we want is that our brothers and sisters don’t have just the table for the Word, but also for the Eucharist.”

“In our opinion, celibacy is about the Eucharist,” Kräutler added.

“There is also another aspect: Two-thirds of these communities who are priestless are coordinated and directed by women,” the bishop said, calling for the synod, and the Church, to consider whether women could be ordained as deacons in the region.

“So, what do we do? We have to think about this. We hear a lot about enhancing the role of women; what does it mean? What are we going to tell her? ‘Yes, you are a person, you are very good’…but then we need concrete solutions.”

The Catholic Church teaches that it is unable to ordain women to the priesthood, which was conferred by Jesus Christ upon his apostles, who were men. Pope Francis appointed a commission in 2016 to examine the possibility of women serving in some diaconal role, with or without the sacrament of ordination, but the group has not reached a consensus and the pope said in May that no plan will be forthcoming on the question.

At the press conference, Kräutler grew animated while he spoke about his efforts to advance his agenda, noting that “politics is the art of fighting for the common good,” and explaining that his experiences in the Amazon have shaped his theological vision.

Paolo Ruffini, the Vatican’s communications head, explained at the briefing that the synod’s discussion about the possibility of ordaining married men has focused on making exceptions to the Church’s canon law regarding celibacy and the priesthood in “concrete cases,” but not on changing the universal law altogether.

Ruffini added that some synod participants have said that the lack of priests in the Amazon region is not caused by the obligation of priestly celibacy and that the Church must pray for vocations and strengthen priestly formation in the region.

CNA reported Oct. 8 that Cardinals Robert Sarah and Peter Turkson, as well as several bishops from Brazil, Peru, and Bolivia, have urged from the synod floor maintaining the Church’s discipline of priestly celibacy in the Amazon region.

Father Giacomo Costa, SJ, another participant in the synod, said at the press briefing that many synod participants have focused their remarks on expanded roles for laity, and on providing formation for those already in leadership roles. Costa said that the Church could more publicly recognize the “personal charisms” of lay people, and their experience of leadership in the Church.

Synod fathers have also discussed the importance of greater ecological awareness among Catholics, decrying “savage capitalism” in the region, Ruffini said, and calling for new models of development that utilize technology for ecologically responsible economic growth.

Ruffini said that some synod fathers have called for a more “Samaritan Church,” and a more “prophetic Church,” attentive to the preferential option for the poor and the “preferential option for creation.”

The Synod of Bishops on the Amazon is a meeting of bishops and advisors, convened at the Vatican to discuss ecological, political, and pastoral issues for the Church in the Amazon region, which spans across nine countries in South America. The meeting began Oct. 6 and will conclude Oct. 27. Subsequent to the meeting, the pope is expected to issue a document on the region.



Support BeforeitsNews by trying our natural health products! Join our affiliate program
Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at

Get our Free Ebook, "Suppressed Health Secrets"  with  Natural Cures THEY don't want you to know!

APeX - Far superior to colloidal silver!  Destroys Viruses, Bacteria, Pathogens with Oxygen plus Silver!Supreme Fulvic - Nature's most important supplement! Vivid Dreams again!
Ultimate Curcumin - Natural pain relief, reduce inflammation and so much more.
MitoCopper - Bioavailable Copper destroys pathogens and gives you more energy. (See Blood Video)
Oxy Powder - Natural Colon Cleanser!  Cleans out toxic buildup with oxygen!  
Organic Hemp Extract (CBD) - Full Spectrum high CBD (3300mg) hemp extract eases stiff joints, relieves stress and more!
Nascent Iodine - Promotes detoxification, mental focus and thyroid health.

Smart Meter Cover -  Reduces Smart Meter radiation by 96%!  (See Video)

FINAL WARNING!   Diseases are EXPLODING!  Watch this Video about APeX and You'll THROW AWAY Your Colloidal Silver!   APeX destroys Viruses, Bacteria and other Pathogens with the power of Oxygen PLUS Silver!  Nobody else has a product like THIS!   See why the inventor hasn't been sick in 16 years and why you'll never hear about it on the FAKE NEWS!  Get some now and tell your friends about it too so we can reach more people!  

APeX Interview - Superior to Colloidal Silver from Lee Canady on Vimeo.

Learn about APeX Here and Get the 50 Page Report in PDF format.   Call us at 888-809-8385 to order by phone.

Report abuse


Your Comments
Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green




Email this story
Email this story

If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.