Following the Synod on the Amazon, reactions have been multiplying in the Catholic world in the face of the prospect of ordaining married men as priests. The latest to date is the intervention of a Dutch Catholic bishop.
“I would like Pope Francis to put the final document of the synod on the Amazon in the trash, but there is little chance that this will happen.” This declaration does not emanate from a priory bulletin of the Society of Saint Pius X, but rather was written by the auxiliary bishop of the diocese of Den Bosch, Netherlands.
Bishop Rob Mutsaerts reacted to the controversy sparked by the publication of the book co-written by emeritus Pope Benedict XVI and Cardinal Robert Sarah, which distances itself from the Amazon Synod’s proposals regarding the ordination of married men.
The Dutch prelate believes that this novelty would be of no use, since “eighty percent of the Amazon population lives in large cities; the problem of the lack of priests is therefore no different from that of many other regions of the world.”
The problem is elsewhere: “It is first of all a lack of faith,” which cannot be resolved by authorizing the access of married men to the priesthood.
Bishop Mutsaerts believes that the synod on the Amazon was only a pretext, a “cover,” he explains, because “the keywords of the final document were no longer ‘ecosystem’ or ‘Earth- mother,’ but ‘viri probati,’ ‘deaconesses,’ and ‘new Amazon liturgical rite,’” emphasizing in passing the central role of the rapporteur of the synod, Cardinal Claudio Hummes, in “the inflection of the debates in this direction.”
Let there be no mistake, “the synodal conclusions will not concern only the Amazon: Pandora’s box has been opened, and there will be an impact on the life of the whole Church,” warns the prelate for whom there is no doubt: “it will be the German bishops who will first ask for their country to ordain married men as priests.”