"I ache for the full inclusion of women."
Responding to the final document from the bishops and participants who came together for the Amazon Synod in October, in February, Pope Francis released the post synodal exhortation, Querida Amazonia (QA).
The triumphalism of ultra right Catholic journalists immediately hit the airwaves. Even as they ignored or criticized the clear teachings on social, cultural and environmental justice found in chapters one, two, and three of QA, Francis had bowed to their conservative leaders on married priests and women deacons. They were elated.
Progressive Catholic news outlets generally wrote favorably of Francis's strong exhortation to rescue the earth and all God's creatures from exploiters and murderers, but also reported on the bitter disappointment many progressive Catholics felt as women's ordination to the diaconate and a married priesthood, requests that came from the bishops and ministers from the Amazon, were ignored.
FutureChurch wanted to know what Catholics were feeling, so over the past two months, even as the world headed into a pandemic, nearly 450 people participated in FutureChurch's survey regarding Querida Amazonia.
Here is what you told us.
Demographic charts below indicate that 71% of responsdents were female and 72% were 70 or older, the wisdom leaders in our Church.
Very much committed to parish life, nearly 60% attend church weekly.
Nearly 72% identified as lay persons.
A majority identified as married with about 25% identifying as parents and grandparents.
When it came to Querida Amazonia, seventy-three (73%) indicated they had read parts or all of it.
Not surprising for FutureChurch constitutents who are well read, nearly 11% had read more than 10 articles relating to Querida Amazonia, 28% had read 5 to 10 articles, and another 57% had read 1 - 4 articles.
When it came to sources for information and commentary, 72% relied on the National Catholic Reporter, while another 57% relied on the New York Times and the Washington Post. Nearly 39% turned to America Magazine while another 26% chose Commonweal.
Not surprisingly, Catholics expressed the greatest dissatisfaction with Chapter 4, the chapter on ecclesiology and toward the end of this article, you can read their words.
America Magazine 38.64%
Catholic News Agency 5.52%
Catholic News Service 9.42%
La Civilita Catolica 4.87%
La Croix 13.64%
National Catholic Reporter 72.08%
National Catholic Register 3.25%
New York Times 36.04%
Religion News Service 7.47%
The Tablet 12.99%
Vatican News Agency 10.06%
Washington Post 20.78%
Other media/opinion 28.57%
Beyond the statistics are the expressions of the heart that many shared as they read Querida Amazonia.
As I read through each response, the raw with emotion of some stood out and touched my own aching heart.
"I ache for the full inclusion of women."
Catholic women and the men who are their allies hold that ache tenderly. We hold it with the common hope and knowledge that women will take up their full and equal partnership alongside men in the church we love -- a church that has so much to offer the world in terms of love, justice, and mercy.
Below are the open responses from our survey respondents. We asked them to share, in their own words, their response to Querida Amazonia.
Many responded with great hope regarding the first three chapters which provided clear guidance on the protection of the environment and all God's creatures, but most expressed disappointment that the Pope did not help the people of the Amazon and the Church, in general, open new paths for carrying the message of the Gospel to the most far flung regions on earth.
On this Good Friday, I invite you to do as I have done. Read each response as if you are sitting with each person listening deeply to their words of pain, discouragement, hope, and love.
And as you sit with each person, each response, remember that no one, not even the Pope, can hold back God's Spirit. She is alive and well, and women and their allies will build a church where the gifts of every baptized person are fully embraced as we work to bring the Gospel to the world, together. We experience death, but we are a Resurrection people.
In your own words, how did you response to Pope Francis's Querida Amazonia?
- I am so upset that I may finally leave....
- Had high hopes for it. Disappointed. It was THE moment to begin new allowances of deacons, women serving...still refused.
- Women are called by God to the Priesthood!!! How sad that their many gifts can't be given in all areas of Christian life!!!!!
- I am fed up and disgusted. I am angry. I hope that the Bishops of the Amazon region simply go ahead and train and ordain all the married men and women whom they need to staff all their parishes and place them to work in these parishes.
- I was sad and disappointed. We accept orthodox married priests and Episcopalians. The blatant sexism is awful.
- Makes me very sad and disconnected from the Catholic church's teaching.
- At first, like so many, we were devastated not to see any changes to ministry proposed, as the Synod had requested. Now, we wonder whether the Pope is stepping back, to allow the local Church - and others - to take the initiative, and allow the Holy Spirit to flourish. What continues to concern us, as it does Future Church, is the 'complementarity' blinkers over women in Ch 4, which His Holiness appears unable to take off. We may be complementary, but we are EQUAL in our complementarity! As in Galatians 3:28.
- The Pope's perception of women (the translated words characterizing that perception) was patronizing and left me feeling hopeless. I feel he has a 1950s image of women and wants to confine us to traditional domestic matronly roles: in the kitchen, nursery, classroom, laundry. I considered looking for a new church because I feel like we are at a dead end. The people and the spirit spoke, and he looked the other way.
- As usual the male dominance of our church always sticks it’s ugly head out. I truly hope a woman’s strike will make awake call as to the true work of the catholic community all over would fold without its woman.
- All Orthodox-Catholic churches have married clergy. No reason for us not to have. Woman deacons would be a plus for our church.
- Let the dialog continue. Vox Populi!
- It was better than nothing and was especially strong on environmental matters. I believe action will come more.
- I appreciate the call to take seriously the environmental and cultural issues.
- Very inspiring apart from ch. 4. That was just another nasty rejection by church leadership.
- The environmental and solidarity vision is beautiful. The Church (and Pope's) paralysis about any change in priestly life or role for women is troubling.
- I was very dissatisfied with the fourth chapter in not allowing married priests and women deacons!
- As in many countries, the women carry the load, they also carry the Word to so many.
- I am once again disappointed that Pope Francis will not move the church forward in ordaining married men and all women called to the priesthood.
- I was greatly encouraged by the embracing of indigenous people and cultures and the concern to protect "our common home" (i.e., ecological issues). But I was extremely disappointed that the synod's recommendations to ordain married men and women deacons was either rejected or ignored. I think the Holy Spirit is clearly urging us to move forward with both--and to go further, namely, to ordain women as priests as well.
- It deepened my appreciation of women's work within the global church.
- It won't have an effect on my faith life, but I am terribly disappointed that the church is still so stuck on their old beliefs. I truthfully am convinced that the church would cease to be if women were absent. And I really believe that the powers that be are scared to death to let women in because they would so easily be replaced. This, no doubt, will have a terribly negative effect on the people of the Amazon region, thinking that they don't matter to the church, so why should the church matter to them.
- It has had no effect it is not the voice of the people since their urging was ignored. A priest is a leader among and one of her/his own people. If the pope can’t be that he is useless to them.
- I am heartened by the big picture dream of Francis. I am heartened by Francis' focus on synodality and his refusal to continue the past several hundred years of giving directives from Rome. The bishops must decree and canonically request an exemption from the canon which requires celibacy. It has been given before and can be given again. The Anglican priests are an example of such a canonical procedure.
- I did not read Querida Amazonia, just bits and pieces gleaned from National Catholic Reporter. I am dissatisfied with the exclusivity of the Catholic Church anyway, and especially think that women have a major role to play in the church. Women should be admitted to ministry in their own right - not dependent on someone telling them it's okay.
- Feel angry that Pope didn't move towards more inclusive leadership such as women priests, deacons, married priests.
- Have had informal discussions with other like-minded persons. Have not heard a thing in a homily or bulletin of our parish.
- To stop at all the needs and yearning of the Amazonian people is to deny their dignity.
- I was happy that women were there and we’re allowed to talk for a change. I do feel very unhappy that the documents produced did not talk about the women being present and also the discussions about women as deacons are ordained to help out in the Amazon region.
- Jesus taught us that we have to embrace the people, as they are. Let us love people, wherever they are. Let us join in prayer with people. Let us be part of their love to the Eternal One. Let us join in prayer, as they understand prayer to be. Jesus taught to love each other. Not impose ourselves on their way of living, loving, praying. As in the time of Jesus, corrupt hierarchical structures, disintegrate. Let us humbly, go back to the beginning. Let us go with Jesus to the mountain to pray, and love.
- A missed opportunity for church movement forward to be more inclusive of women in true leadership roles (and married priests) as part of the whole solution to allow for communal participation in the Eucharist (Chapter 4 a stark contrast to the first 3 chapters--which so carefully (and elegantly) acknowledged how best to integrate indigenous culture with modern Gospel teachings and practices in an evolving society. What about the "indigenous culture of women". How will they be best integrated in Future Church. So much to contribute but consistently overlooked by ecclesial men!
- Extremely dissatisfied. This seemed to be a great opportunity to move forward and to provide more people with the sacraments and Eucharist. I guess "the Church" will just keep getting fewer and fewer participants.
- Having married priests is essential to the future growth of the Catholic Church. More people are searching for meaning in the internet age of consumerism and loneliness. If the Catholic church does not have enough priests to conduct Mass, it will miss out on these new people.
- Encouraged my small scale ecological efforts.
- I believe the Pope again expresses his deep concern and understanding of the poor and marginalized, and the intimate connection of culture, creation, and the poor. I wonder if his restriction of the priestly role to its traditional male celibates is really going to be effective in the Amazon.
- VERY disappointed that married priests will not be allowed, depriving so many of the mass, and that women will not be ordained. I am losing hope for the church.
- I'll keep attending!
- I fully support optional celibacy for the priesthood.
- Very disappointed in the failure to address two significant issues affirmed by the Synod: the need for (married) priests, and the need to recognize the diaconal service of women.
- Disappointed about elevating women in church as I work very hard in my parish!
- More of the same hedging, waffling and hesitancy from the organizational Church. However my faith exists apart from the "rules," which I now feel free to ignore.
- I believe that Pope Francis lost courage in not endorsing the beginnings of married clergy in the Amazon.
- The Pope is obviously being strongly pressured by the conservative Curia etc. in the Church in not allowing married priests etc. It is a terrible decision for the future of the Catholic Church. I am deeply frustrated as all of you who work so hard for reform.
- Very impressed with the emphasis on local culture, traditions, and the inclusion of the poetry throughout. Pulled out all the stops on CST, 'preferential option' etc. But deeply disappointed with the usual 'women's special gifts' stuff, while recognizing that it's women that keep the whole thing going.
- It is extremely hurtful (and disgraceful) that the Pope is willing to invest time and discernment into the environmental situation, but does not study the "issue" of women, either in the past or in the 21st century. We women, too, need "healing" and acceptance - not to mention equality and justice - just as much as the environment does.
- I liked the way in which he was opposed to just “clericalizing “ people. The People of God need to be recognized that leadership can come from lay people. The ordained priesthood and the top down model of church is not bearing fruit. I think he is able to see the future church. However, I certainly think that we as a church should be exploring optional celibacy.
- The missed opportunities of Querida Amazonia will only liberate the basic communities in the Amazonia from Roman paternalism and make them go ahead assuming their own responsibilities & collegial leadership. Trusting the Spirit at work (GS 22). But the conservative networks will be denouncing and fighting them - but definitively losing them.
- Pessimism. Our bishops will only take away what they believe already.
- I was most interested in married priests for the Amazon area as it came up at the synod, but I recall Pope Francis seemed to neglect that issue, I have been ready for married and female priest for years.
- Without having read it, I am still familiar with Pope Francis's ideology and am quite pleased with it. I do hope he listens to some lay voices and would be wise to allow diverse viewpoints.
- I read the exhortation to give implicit support to the people and bishops of the Amazon to continue with the plans they laid out in their final document. I was very pleased with all but his reference to women comparing them to Mary and men to Jesus.
- Pope Francis should have allowed the holy elders to become priests. This would pave the way to abolishing mandated celibacy for ALL priests. ALL priests should be allowed to marry. Priests sometimes fall in love like everyone else and they should be allowed to be husbands and fathers. Our priest would make a wonderful husband and father. I know he sometimes wishes that was an option for him.
- Because of the great need in the Amazon, it was the perfect opportunity for change. Bringing in Priests from other parts of the world makes no sense ( who would relinquish then?).
- A good starting point for justice awareness. Relevant to Canadian issues re: aboriginal voices, resource management, etc.
- Has simply reaffirmed to what lengths the Catholic hierarchy will deprive women of their God given dignity to admit to women’s equal likeness of Christ and welcome them to serve on the altar.
- It leaves me feeling despondent. The recommendations made for helping the Amazonian people with the Eucharist in real practical terms has been disregarded. It would seem mandatory celibacy is over and above a baptized Christian's right to receive the Eucharist. The church is obsessed with celibacy, despite already having married priests working quite effectively alongside celibates in many parishes. The shortage of priests is a problem not only confined to the Amazon, but in western civilized parishes too.
- It is slowly telling people that going to church and ignoring the environment is not good anymore!
- Role of women absolutely deserved to be addressed in a strong affirmative way.
- It opens the way for a an enculturated church vs. the all too Roman not too Holy church imposed on the world.
- I feel badly for the people of faith in the Amazon region who will continue to not be served by the Catholic church.
- Effect on my regard for the church and Pope Francis = Huge disappointment. Nothing changed, just lots of pretty words ‘dreams’. All same old sh.... no Women deacons, no married priests. Complementarity still instead of equality AND complementarity. Am working on forgiving the powers ruling the church once again. Nothing to do with my faith life.
- I have been waiting to heard positive words about married clergy and the ordination of women to the deaconate and priesthood. This is a great disappointment.
- How can the Church demand that Catholics attend Sunday Mass under "pain of sin" and not provide the Eucharist for millions of Catholics. This callousness weakens my faith in the hierarchical Church, but not in the Christ or in many movements to serve the poor.
- While I have not yet read the actual document, I was surprised and very disappointed that Pope Francis did not choose to approve of married men being ordained in certain cases, and of a move toward the diaconate for women.
- I feel it has had no effect on my parish at all. Our priests have never mentioned it and I only know about it through reading the Tablet.
- Married men and women are called to priesthood. More needs to be figured out by the locals.
- Lay people need to express their thoughts and ideas more openly to their bishops.
- Pope needs to resign. He continues to alienate young people and they go where they are valued and respected.
- Very confused and somewhat disappointed.
- My faith in the institutional church is practically nil. It is simply unresponsive to the needs of lay persons in the church.
- Point out a need. It's time.
- I am a chaplain with Native American ministries in my Diocese. That was an exciting affirmation of the rights of indigenous folk. I founded Michigan Interfaith Power & Light. His words on the planet are spot on. His lack of attention to the request for married priests and his patronizing words toward women, on the other hand, were more than disappointing.
- Good for ecology and poor for women in church.
- I'm disappointed that there was no mention of women or married men presiding at Eucharist.
- I keep hoping Pope Francis will make a breakthrough declaration opening the doors to a married clergy and female clergy.
- The eco-spirituality is beautiful, but the lack of providing a channel for more official ministers, esp. women, is disappointing and a lost opportunity. This issue reaches throughout the world and into the parishes closing in the US and New York City. Defending male clericalism as the only answer is wrong. Opening to the Divine in all creation demands total inclusion!
- I am discouraged that the Pope did not recognize the work of women and allow for them to be ordained deacons.
- Another surrender to the Far Right Conservative Clergy.
- Poor were requesting changes, but none came about.
- Frankly, it speaks a great deal of care and respect for all the people of the Amazon and parts can be used with other groups. I am disappointed with lack of support for women in stronger roles as well as a married clergy. But, the reality is that there is still a stigma (not saying it is right). Men have it together which we have seen is not always the case. But women don't always have it together either. It is going to take more time and a serious "there is nothing left to do". We work and we fight and we will continue, but it is a very slow process (just as when we are dealing with raising of children or making something happen in the political realm). Time is real and frustrating. But we can go with what is wonderfully happening in Amazonia and move forward without being formal about it. Haven't we been doing that for a long time?
- Needs further development.
- When will we listen to the cries of our sisters and brothers I feel that celibacy is more important than the eucharist which should be the Center of our lives Pope Francis needs to be more attentive to the radical discipleship of Jesus. We need more local synods where we can voice how we feel. Thank God for the intentional communities that are forming. People are thirsting for community experience that is not found in many parishes.
- It is good to alert the world & the church itself to the devastation in the Amazon Region & the terrible exploitation & abuse of indigenous peoples. It is a sad state of affairs. Most of the world does not realize how much this matters for our common home. For a long time now the human family is going the wrong way with emphasis on short term profits & gains. In time there will evolve a creative solution to the shortage of priests in Amazon Region. The plight of the territory itself & its native people being displaced should be the first & most urgent priority that needs immediate resolution. Blessings on good Pope Francis for his courage & leadership against the odds. May the Lord spare him to us for several more years.
- We need married Priests, we need woman priests and an equal say in Church financial affairs.
- Doesn't affect my faith life. I think it was very good for the Amazon region.
- I am in favor of women to be priests. If that's not viable yet, at least we should have married priests available to us.
- Great on climate change, and care for the earth, and critique of capitalism. Horrible, horrible on women's issues. Completely disconnected is Francis from women and non-binary people.
- It is a difficult read, but worth the effort, because it deals with issues of worldwide concern.
- Very disappointing to read the part about women - it's condescending - archaic "theological" construct with no basis in reality. It's so hard to understand.
- At all levels, the effect is great....I only hope the two remaining issues (women deacons and married priests) will soon be resolved in the form of a proper and unique Amazonian Liturgy.
- It confirms my reasons for preferring Episcopal Catholicism. Priests can be married and women. Divorced and Gays/Lesbians are welcomed. The Eucharist is an invitation to all. It is enlightened Catholicism!
- The glaring effect is that Eucharist is again denied to those without a celibate priest. The Amazon Church is not a Eucharistic community because the majority of people receive Communion so rarely. The first pope was married and most of the other apostles. So why is our hierarchy denying Eucharist to our sisters and brothers in the Amazon? There were also women deacons in the early church. Are our men in power afraid they'll lose it?
- Jesus was a trouble-making non-traditionalist Jew who was hung naked on a tree to make an example of what happens to people who rock the boat. The Church needs more trouble makers to kick the rear ends of old farts.
- It is an important contribution to broadening first-world attitudes. It is a needed exhortation toward respect for the original people, inculturation, care of nature. However, the theological approach is out of step. Emphasis on the centrality of the Eucharist and effusive appreciation for women who have sustained communities is followed by denial of using the talents and calling of half of the human race in response.
- As long as the hierarchical church fails to recognize the importance of bringing the Eucharist to all people regardless of the personage commissioned to do this work, female or male, then the ‘church’ fails its people all over the world but especially in the remote areas such as the Amazon.
- We all need to take seriously the message of Jesus to love all and realize our partnership in all creation.
- It is the last nail in the coffin, all resulting from the male, clerical concept of "the chosen" priesthood based on the erroneous concept that Jesus instituted a priesthood when, in fact, he never ordained anyone.
- I have not read document itself. I am VERY disheartened by news reports that Francis is backing off of married clergy and diaconate for women.
- The Synod approach is great; it gives hope that the Pope and other leaders will listen to the voice of the People of God (the Church). In the case of women and married priests, this absolutely did not happen. There was a strong request for married priests and a recognition that women were already doing the work of ordained deacons. But both of these were ignored! Time is running out in so many ways for the People of God to help heal the Church. People have spoken; now it is essential for Church leadership to respond.
- Chapters 1, 2, an 3 are used as window dressing to neutralize the decision to deny Holy orders to men and women. Unforgivable.
- I remain convinced that someday we will have married priests (significantly more than we now have) and eventually female priests. Disappointed that I will likely not live long enough to experience the benefits of these changes.
- Francis's environmental outlook and attitude is exemplary. His resistance to married viri probati and women deacons is disappointing but does not seem to be his final word. That, at least, is encouraging.
- A vision of a better world for all of us.
- Some Bishops will go ahead and ordain married men and women deacons - it would be a grassroot movement and we have had similar situation in the Church.
- It gave me a hope for the Church that I had not experienced previously. I felt that Francis was really interested and committed to helping these people.
- At its core the church remains an “old boys” club. Environmental and cultural statements are just words when at the core the church is totally patriarchal.
- Unfortunately many Catholics will go without the sacraments and Eucharistic Liturgy because of the lack of priests and no decision about ordaining married men in the Amazon and other places.
- The faith life of the Amazon will be carried on by women in any case. I wouldn't be at all surprised if women conducted a kind of eucharistic celebration now and continued to do so. It's a shame that Francis can't get past his machismo and open the way for women to join the diaconate. He's waffling to avoid a schism, I expect. As to the effect of the letter on my faith life, I try not to let the Church interfere with my relationship with God.
- Francis continues to impress and inspire as he challenges Christians to address capitalism and take the lead of people who are poor, indigenous, and marginalized by the “progress of the West”. However, while challenging the Church to also forgiveness for its sins and listen to the wisdom of indigenous culture and practices in the Amazon, many of which include equal value and participation of women, even going as far as to say these practices can and often should be seen as incarnating God in the world through the human, his insistence of perpetuating an archaic, patriarchal, and oppressive complimentary theology undercuts the other ideas of growth, evolution, and inclusion he proposes.
- Excellent exhortation on everything BUT the need for priests, married or not(!), & greater recognition of the gifts women have for our church & ALL her people - they need to preach to all of us, so they at least must be ordained Deacons!
- The document leaves more question than answers.
- The text provides a prayerful vision for further, necessary changes.
- It certainly has many of us talking about the Amazon in ways it has not been in our consciousness, and in relationship to our interconnectedness. This is not the arena to be taking on women deacons and married priests as such. Although BOTH would have an important presence in the Amazon.
- My catholic faith tells to trust the present as the Holy Spirit continues to inspire our Leaders, as well as our wonderful men and women who are an inspiration.
- I had hope that Pope Francis would act out his own words regarding synodality and that he would give the go ahead to the bishops to act as bishops in their own dioceses. Why has he pulled back on all that he has been saying. Jesus said Take and eat. The Eucharist is at the centre of our faith, Why should 'man made laws' take precedence over the instructions of Jesus. I am almost 80 and will remain in the Roman Catholic Church and continue to try to live out the promise I made Jesus on my First Communion day to attend Mass and Communion daily.
- When it got down to it nothing was changed, no positive actions towards greater inclusiveness in church leadership. It is insulting to women without doing this directly.
- Excellent for the environment, but poor for the Church. "In the context of a theology of the sacraments and Church life, "complementarity" and bridal imagery have been shown repeatedly to be seriously flawed tools of analysis. I was awarded a master's degree for a thesis I wrote about bridal imagery as long ago as 1990, but nothing has changed. Very disappointing.
- I was surprised that the Pope did not approve of married priests or ordaining women to meet the needs of the Amazon people.
- Ecological aspects are promising. Failure to recognise what women are doing is abysmal and misogynist.
- The Catholic Church is vaporizing itself as the Eucharistic Celebration remains in the hands of a few men who can no longer adequately tend to the yearning population.
- Disappointed that the church had such a rich opportunity to move ahead, modernize, and move with the Holy Spirit. The Spirit cannot be contained.
- I simply feel that it was a missed opportunity to work towards transformation in the Church in terms of our sacramental and liturgical life.
- I ache for the full inclusion of women.
- Once again Eucharist was dismissed in the pragmatic life of “Everyman” I.e.( each human person) even when Eucharist is held up as a number one necessity for every catholic by the same “Catholic Church”. How does this happen?
- Mostly unfortunate, but still a bit removed.
- We move forward very slowly.
- It is nice rhetoric to tell the rest of the world what they are doing wrong, without doing anything to change/fix the disfunction and disgraces of the Catholic Church.
- My first reaction to QA was as follows: The text fails to perceive the deep connection between the social, cultural and ecological dreams on the one hand, and the ecclesial dream on the other. The first cannot be realized, if the human resources to do so are rare and in weak conditions (not recognized, not theologically and practically empowered). Then, I has vivid email exchanges with Prof. Zulehner in Vienna (he also gave an interview at the Austrian TV last week where he reacted to QA - I have a YouTube copy of it). He gave me the following reading key for QA: Pope Francis faced INHUMAN hostility from Vatican officials (Card. Sarah and Co, the clique around Benedict XVI). The only way Francis saw to overcome this situation was "to decide not to decide" and to leave it up to the bishops to decide. Francis wants a shift from the pope centered vision coined by the First Vatican Council to a bishops' centered authority via the synods. What these bishops decide, the "bishop of Rome" would endorse. Pope Francis signed Querida Amazonia in the LATERAN Basilica and NOT in the Vatican, which is a very important sign! He wants to act as a "Bishop of Rome" and not as the "pope". Francis wants to direct those who oppose him (Prof. Zulehner calls them "die Ideologen") to the bishops who want the reforms. In other words, Francis asks the bishops to DO what they asked for, and Francis would then endorse what they decide. Given the deadlock situation of Francis in the Vatican, it would have been impossible to implement the Amazonian requests "from above", by a pope kept in check by the Vatican watchdogs. I understand the strategy Francis follows by making it clear to the watchdogs that they are a MINORITY , what they do not want to recognize! But for this to happen Francis needs bishops acting WITH HIM and not just asking him to sign a document. This in turn means that we need MATURE bishops who speak to Francis from "eye to eye" and not as "submissive and faithful sons to the Holy Father". That's for me the huge problem! How will the bishops be able to realize such a Copernican turning point after a millennium of servile mindset engrained in them? The bishops worldwide will have to learn to truly act WITH the bishop of Rome, where it's up TO THEM to have the INITIATIVE, and NOT to the Roman Curia. When one reads QA in THIS perspective, then QA makes sense. This raises in turn the following question: how does one communicate this key for reading QA to a maximum of people and especially to the bishops themselves? Francis can't do it, which means WE have to do it. Once I had this key for reading QA, I was at peace with the document. I consider it as "a deep cry for help" of Francis kept in check by wolves. In regard to women in leadership Prof. Zulehner totally agreed with me that Francis was in great need of reform himself. He simply doesn't get it; he does not have the tools for getting it and he is not apparently looking for such tools as he is overwhelmed by the struggles with the watchdogs. I wrote a long letter in German to Francis where I addressed precisely the "women question". Prof. Zulehner quoted my contribution 14 times in his introduction to this collective e-book, published by Patmos "Wir haben einen Traum", edited by Paul Zulehner, 2019.
- Laity and especially women were emphasized as the living body of Christ in the Amazon who should continue to do their exemplary work but with a formal investiture. He left open the areas of ordination which is a good thing. The areas he emphasized are more pressing now.
- It was all too theoretical. I don't foresee much changing.
- I am sad and disappointed that God's people are deprived of the sacraments because of the lack of "male ministers". The Amazon jungles, called the "lungs of the earth" are being cleared to plant cash crops for export also leaving the indigenous people without their daily bread. The hopes of a " Renewed Church" after the "The Second Pentecost " of Vatican II soared for a time but fizzled when some of the clergy chose power and prestige. Pope Francis envisions a church that imitates Jesus, the Good Shepherd not just in the Amazon but everywhere. Love is the binding force, for the whole planet. We must change or we perish!
- I think that our people of faith are being short changed by the unrealistic, short sighted decision the Pope made about changing a man-made rule. By doing so, people in that region and soon, all Catholics of the Latin rite will be deprived of the Eucharist which is the basis of our faith.
- In my opinion, it means the Sacraments aren’t important to the Catholic religion. The primary concern is to keep the Church a male dominated institution. If the hierarchy felt the Eucharist was central to our beliefs they would have made an accommodation to see that people in South America were able to receive it.
- The Catholic Church is considering pragmatic solutions to decreasing priests in our world and trying not to alienate people.
- I feel it is a step backward. I feel especially sorry for the people in the Amazon ; for people everywhere, especially women. I hope Pope Francis has a good reason for not allowing older married men to become priests & for not allowing women into the deaconate.
- This is not a defining event in my faith life. I can’t comment on the effect on the church in the Amazon or the church at large. I think this will have a great effect on the core people who are involved primarily in women’s issues or the ecology of the earth. It will have a far lesser effect on the US church at large. Having said this, I support the efforts to give women an equal roll in the Church. I feel the slogan “Woman’s dignity and equality? ‘It is not yours to give’” sends a powerful message. It brings home the message “we are church”; the boycott you are suggesting not so much. It may be non violent and may even be successful but it will also be hurtful, harmful and destructive. You lost me on that.
- In Australia we are in the process of a Plenary Council and are watching how Francis is handling synodality. By sidestepping a decision from the papacy on the ordination of married men Francis is leaving the issue open for discussion by national conferences of bishops and giving conservative voices time to adjust to the inevitable.
- I continue to be very disappointed and angry about Pope Francis' disregard for gender equality and dismissing Christ's calling and mandate for women to serve as leaders in the Church. It is beyond belief that these men continue to put down women, closing the door on the ability of women to be deacons ( and priests!) and that priests now serving to have the option to be married. The decision not to affirm and confirm Christ's call for all disciples especially women to assume leadership roles in the church is contrary to the Gospel. Francis' answering NO ignores the cry of the poor in the Amazon and the extreme challenges of all the faithful witnesses who work tirelessly to care for our sisters and brothers in remote areas is unconscionable! Where is his courage in standing up to the backward and unjust controlling cardinals who want to maintain their power and affluence. Jesus was courageous, just, merciful and compassionate. We, especially the Pope, should follow His witness. The people of the Amazon need Christ in the Presence of each of us....being Eucharistic servants and celebrants. Who is going to feed the poor? Time is running out for these thousands and thousands of our sisters and brothers so hungry for the Eucharist. How dare we refuse them!
- I am extremely disappointed that faithful married men can't be ordained in Amazonia.
- Church reform is needed in every country where men and women have equal rights and rites.
- Hierarchy and clericalism is no longer relevant!
- I don’t feel much affected by chpts 1-3 and that’s probably what I did not read it. I am saddened and disappointed for all Catholics especially those in the Amazon. While I do go to mass weekly and once a week, for several years I have been exploring the breadth and depth of my spirituality away from the Catholic and Christian language. If the church won’t step up, I will not be held back by its language, structure, hierarchy, narrow mindedness.
- I feel that the language in this exhortation re women was lacking & possibly offensive. At the very least, it was language of the past based on the antiquated attitudes of religious men re women. I know Francis wants to keep the eyes of the world focused on the "important" issues in the Amazon, but there are two camps. The first camp consists of those of us who want change..specifically female deacons. It's us who also care about the Amazon & her people and it's us who are actively working for climate change. Then there is the other camp who doesn't believe that climate change is a thing & who don't care about indigenous people. Those of us who are disappointed that Francis did not speak in favor of female deacons will continue to focus on climate change especially as it has to do with places like the Amazon. Those who are very pleased that there will not, for now, be married priests or female deacons, will continue to ignore the Amazon. So sadly, although Francis was trying to avoid a divide, I'm not so sure he accomplished that. He also wanted people discussing the Amazon more than married priests and female deacons, but I'm not sure he accomplished that either.
- Why bother having a synod if you can't allow some of the innovations (or at least try them in a limited way ) that were suggested by the bishops, clergy and lay missioners.
- My Faith Life: A downer. I know the Pope has to look at what he thinks is the bigger picture. I suspect he may be planting seeds for a future that includes a married clergy and perhaps an ordained woman diaconate. I am tired of waiting, with the promise that we are studying the issue and that these things take time. It is a matter of justice, of equality to women who history shows have been dominated by a male-oriented clergy and authority for far too long.
- Totally disappointed with the reasoning and rationalization used to again keep women as second class citizens. I believe the institutional church is guilty of sins of sexism and unjust treatment of women and indigenous individuals. The church cares not for the individual, but cares much for the institution, as we have seen over and over with abuse of children. The Holy Spirit is present and speaking loudly but the Church is deaf!!
- I applaud the people's call for more help given to the indigenous people displaced by industry taking their land. He respects the unique cultures of the many tribal groups and wants their culture passed on to their young. The crucial value and beauty of the Amazon Region is clearly stated. I believe he is shortsighted in ignoring the need for women deacons in the region. It is not enough to pray for priestly vocations.
- I will not see the growth of the Church or the respect due to the contributions of women or the changes that eventually will come happen in my lifetime. How disappointing!
- I was very disappointed that the option for married priests and women Devon’s were not approved. We have had priests from India for many years and although good men they do not share many of our values especially regarding the roles of women in our culture. Also they are difficult to understand because of language difference. My husband no longer goes to church because of that.
- I think the final document is more interesting, but not compelling either. Both documents will be of interest to the "choir"
- I was very disappointed when Francis refused to allow married priests in the Amazon and to consider women deacons at least for that area.
- Unfortunately, for those whose interests it serves, they will praise it as vindication. For those who are dissatisfied, they will largely ignore it. I think the biggest potential for the future seems to be the synodal process itself.
- Very disappointed that Francis did not bite the bullet and make at least the minimal necessary change of ordaining female deacons in Amazonia. Of course we also need women and married priests, worldwide. He is afraid to "divide" the church; but the fault for such a division would not lie with him. If Francis won't do it, when will we have a pope who will? And how many Catholics will still be left when those reforms finally happen? When will our bishops listen to the Holy Spirit?
- Ultra Conservative Cardinals, e.g., Raymond Burke, want to discredit and disrobe Holy Father Francis, in part due to their misogyny.
- I had hoped it would be an opportunity for married priests and women Deacons to be accepted in the Amazon.
- It is becoming increasingly clear to me that the Catholic Church is more interested in celibacy than the Eucharist. I am extremely frustrated and sad about the lack of inclusion of women in ordained ministry and in positions of influence. I really feel it is a sinful situation to exclude half of the human race. I stay in the Catholic Church because of the Eucharist. If that becomes less important and less available I am not sure I will feel like staying as an active member. I am completely astounded that Pope Francis ignored his own bishops in the Amazon and their expressed and prayerful needs. Sex in the Catholic church is taking precedence over everything. Where is Jesus in all this?
- I think Pope Francis, despite his good intentions in so many areas, simply does not understand that when the Catholic Church hierarchy cannot see women as equal members of the Church, called to ordained ministry and leadership, it robs itself of moral credibility in the work for justice. This document serves as a giant step backwards in this regard. The people of the Amazon will continue to be denied the Eucharist due to systemic sexism in the Catholic church.
- Sad that they didn't get married priests. They need them in their condition.
- Another death blow to Catholicism in the Americas.
- Very disappointed. This was a lost opportunity.
- There is a definite challenge to pursue the social, cultural and ecological dreams in our own environment. The problem I have is with the ecclesial dream where women are great as lay members of the church and catechists but not as leaders, deacons or priests. To laude the baptism of women as participants in the priestly, prophetic and servant role in one paragraph and then to say that men can be called out of their baptism to priesthood to serve as "Other Christs" but women's role is to be "Other Marys" denies the meaning of baptism. All who are baptized into Christ are baptized in to the fullness of his life, death and resurrection. There is no male or female in the Christ. We are baptized equally or we are not baptized at all. And if equally, then there is no reason for exclusion of women from answering the call of Christ to come an follow in whatever role that may be.
- Disappointed that the shortage of priests will continue in the Amazon region. Also disappointed that the Church passed up the opportunity to ordain women deacons.
- I feel most of us women are disappointed, but just maybe the document was meant to give us locally the decisions!
- to be honest I was quietly hopeful that Francis would do the right thing but did not expect that he would. There is way too much power with the Curia and conservative and orthodox bishops in the Catholic Church. Francis is an old man - he could have done the right thing for women, the priesthood and people all over the world who are underserved NOT just the Amazon -- look at the number of parishes in the US who have had to close or merge just because there are no priests. He could have taken a HUGE step in addressing this profound problem but he didn't. the Catholic Church will cease to exist if there is not Eucharist and priests and deacons to engage the rest of us in sacramental life. I pray for Francis but I'm also profoundly upset and disappointed and yes angry as well ! I am sick to death of men thinking they know everything and act as if they are the only ones to have power on this earth. ENOUGH !!!!
- I think it is a step forward.
- I am fully supportive of Pope Francis’ vision. I think he’s looking to build a stronger, more inclusive church, to build community, and fight toxic clericalism.
- It's just so sad that they won't allow women to be priests. So many problems and they're going to spend time keeping women down. But my relationship with God is still good. Not God's fault these people are mean.
- I think about leaving the Catholic Church on a regular basis.
- Another disappointment. Won't change my faith which is based on the teachings of Christ and the Franciscan Orthodoxy. It really wasn't surprising as far as the priest shortage issue. We have to keep up the good fight.
- Undecided at this time.
- I’m in favor of optional celibacy and the ordination of women to at least the diaconate. I believe the Pope wants the impetus for optional celibacy and women’s ordination to come up from the grassroots, rather than by papal fiat. And I believe it will come (even if not as fast as I would like).
- I feel the Church will continue to loose members and less likely to gain new members, especially the young.
- Discouraging to think women are not yet treated equally, accepted as real partners in the church and yet do SO MUCH for and with the people. I, for one, was fired from a pastoral Ministry position because the Pastor thought the people saw me as Pastor.. long story but this happened 40 years ago and still...I thank God for the gift of perseverance in the Catholic Church.
- RC church still view women as second class, not equals.
- Ordain women and married men.
- I have really felt empowered by the leadership of Pope Francis, but he failed completely to follow his own model of synodality. He should not have called a Synod if we was not willing to listen to what was said. Sad. Very sad.
- I am very angry and becoming disillusioned with Pope Francis’s inaction on issue of women diaconate when I see people denied the Sacraments because of shortage of priests in my own community.
- I feel let down. There was an opportunity to address some major issues confronting the people of the Amazon region and the Church. These were missed opportunities. The consequences will be devastating. We, as a Church, will have to accept some of the blame for the consequences.
- God NEVER said that married men and women were not to be ordained and in fact were in the early Church.
- Really hoped to see the role of married men as priests as well as creating women deacons! I feel we need to move forward to serve those people without access or very minimal access to the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist! but realize how this is a huge step for our Church. This has not changed my faith live, except to promote increasing my prayers.
- I am impressed that Pope Francis wants everyone to become involved in discernment process and come to agreement and not leave it up to Pope to decide alone.
- After reading all that came from you I felt that you kept me posted on a daily basis what was happening in the sessions.
- Care for the Earth and Care for the Indigenous is wonderful. Love the methodology which used poems and symbolism (dreams). Hope for positive developments.
- Perhaps the Bishop should just declare he was approving married priests and women deacons. Otherwise the practice of Catholicism will die in the next generation.
- No female perspective. Not much in terms of indigenous voices.
- The church needs to change if it wishes to survive. Women should be ordained priests like Jesus intended.
- I have been touched by the Bishops of the Amazon and the indigenous peoples who were part of the Synod. The insights are amazing -- except for the sense of disease and sadness at putting aside the vision of married men being priests and ministerial women being deacons -- to deprive indigenous communities of Eucharist, of the last rites, of Confirmation, of Baptism and the presence of a presbyter who can open the doors of the sacraments to the people -- is just plain wrong and shortsighted. May God forgive the ignoring of the Spirit's guidance.
- I was so hoping this would be the beginning of change and openness in the Church. Don’t know how much longer I can wait. Feeling ignored and deserted.
- I think we have placed too much emphasis on the married clergy, women deacons issue - very important - and overlooked the ecological message. A more dire concern.
- The way forward for to me is "somewhat" clear: 1. Support all positive synodal events/synodal path events that will help reform the Catholic Church. There are many -- Germany, Australia, Bishop McEvoy in San Diego Diocese, etc. 2. Challenge everyone else to use this model/process starting on the grassroots level. As a concrete example my own St. Kizito SCC in Nairobi (already 50 members) is discerning how to divide into two SCCs. Another suggestion: Write to the bishops in Brazil and the other Amazon countries to encourage them take up Pope Francis's offer to propose radical changes to send to Rome such as married priests for dioceses where the lay people receive communion only once a year and a special enculturated Amazon Rite.
- Strong belief in Christ and his teachings. Church, aka all of us, need Eucharist. God calls all of us to serve. Celibacy is an individual's call from God. It is not a requirement to serve God's purpose. Women are us (Church) and have the same callings to serve as men; that means priesthood! Amazon region is a microcosm of the world: let us (Church) serve as we are called.
- Uplifting for the most part. Disappointed in Chapter 4.
- Failure to respond to current needs.
- The church once again fails to meet the needs of the people and chooses to value the hierarchal structure and hiding behind the dysfunctional clericalism.
- This is a first step, but the church leaders better wake up or there won’t be an official church to run in future. There will small communities that have split off from it. And that might be a good thing!?
- The Pope did not seem to respond to the people of the Amazon and their needs. Was it the Spirit that led to his decisions on no married priests and women deacons! Sad for the Church!
- I am not sure if I have the order correct, but my issue is both the lack of respect for vocations of laypeople, especially women, and the insistence that ordained single men are the only people who can say Mass.
- I feel that Querida Amazonia was full of good intentions and agreeable statements (in the first three chapters) but it all seemed very “theoretical”, we know quite everything very well already. The last chapter was better not to be written, it was SO frustrating, I found the Christology and anthropology in the text appalling.
- Disappointment. The Church needs married priest and at least female deacons.
- Has a minimal effect on my faith life. Vatican comments do not have much credibility.
- This document continues the support which Francis has been providing for grass roots initiatives and a truly synodal church. He did not do what many of us want done (married priests, recognition of God's reality in LGBT and removal of any signs of gender discrimination), leaving those tasks to a very messy and challenging dialogue among the people of God, many of whom have been content to rely upon the Vatican rather than cultivate the Spirit of Christ within them. These times call for mutual acknowledgment of a diverse Spirit, which should not be squelched. A synodal church requires gracious retention of initiative at all levels of the church and gracious acknowledgment of the Spirit filled nature of this retention in others, especially by those in positions of power, following the example of Francis.
- If not now - when! will necessary changes occur?
- I don’t understand why the Hierarchy in the church don’t care about the people of God. Don’t they see the people of God are suffering for many reasons? The Catholic Church is dying and the hierarchy is not willing to face reality.
- Essential teachings on the environment, and the Amazon in particular. Disappointing in the Synod process excluding women voters, and missed opportunities to move to a non-celibate priesthood and women deaconate.
- Clericalism still trumps the needs of the God's people who need the sacraments and care of the Spirit/Love.
- Lost it by not helping foster Eucharist over celibacy.
- If the female diaconate is dead, I am gone. I am called to serve as a deacon (Board Certified Chaplain), and I am called to and do preach (not in a RC pulpit), having been educated to preach by the Order of Preaches. I am called, educated, responding as a Deacon, yet the male institutional Church says no. To those I serve, I say yes.
- Women deacons and a married priesthood should have been encouraged. I am disappointed with the place of women.
- At 75 I’ve given up hope on women being more involved with leadership roles in the Catholic Church and my dream of being part of a woman deaconess in my church.
- Greetings from the Lost Coast of California where people I have mentioned it to, do not have a clue what it is really all about!
- As usual, the church dreams, but doesn't act, thereby diminishing its credibility.
- Weakens my faith in the Catholic church. Preserve the Amazon and its people for Christ's sake!!!
- To deny the faithful the Eucharist is unthinkable. We need married priests and women deacons hopefully leading to women priests.
- We were bummed: We had high expectations and yet realize that nothing will change with Francis for the issues that confront the Body of Christ.
- I want a more direct approach to the issue of married priests and ordination of women by Pope Francis. I want him to take a stronger position on the Bishops in the US who are going backwards on the Second Vatican Council's approach to Church. I am staying in the Church but holding on by a thread.
- I think it was a serious mistake not to recommend female deacons and married priests.
- I cherish the hope that Francis will find a way to make married priests and women deacons a vital part of the Church in years to come, and first in the Amazon region that needs them so badly.
- I am happy with Chapters 1 - 3. I am not happy with Chapter 4. Initially because Pope Francis did not respond to the request for married priests. Then I accepted that he is not responding regarding married priests because he is allowing the synodal process to make the decision. So it is now open to the dioceses of the Amazon to implement their proposals as set out in their Final Report. Most disappointingly Pope Francis seems to reject Holy Orders for women without offering any justification other than that Pope John Paul ll has stated this. As there already are married priest in the Catholic Church I believe it is only a matter of time until this is expanded more widely. My faith life is much more tied to the messages of Christ ("Love one another" and "Do this in memory of me") than to Canon Law and Patriarchal Rules.
- We’ve waited long enough and have been too faithful and not respected while the hierarchy continues ignoring us.
- It is not always easy to ‘read’ Pope Francis and his intentions. Is he wanting us the people of God to go forward locally and push for change on significant issues- the synodal way empowering the people as the change makers -- or is he just keeping the peace on issues navigating between the people of God and the Curia and so forth while encouraging love, mercy and compassion. He is a man of love wanting for us all to be compassionate and self-giving but he still appears to be contained by the Church hierarchy and himself on the issue of married priests and women Deacons, when in heart he knows what is man-made and what is not. When he knows the institutional Church has not always listened to the voice and movement of the Holy Spirit. He asks indirectly for tolerance and patience as change is slow, but more leadership is needed by him to lead more fully in new directions for the church, that will challenge and substantiate a God of Truth, rather than a God cemented in the Middle Ages and in legalism and patriarchalism. The isms that need to be amended.
- A missed opportunity to demonstrate the power and effect a truly synodal encounter in the church.
- I respect the Pope's words and hope that it will have a positive effect. I was disappointed that he did not act on the recommendation of allowing a married clergy. I hope that it means that the issue can be taken up another time by the whole church. I never thought it a good idea that such a change be done piecemeal; it should be decided by a broader group of people and by all the bishops.
- I am heartened about the ecological views, but sick and tired of the clericalism and hierarchicalism that denies women, married men, and all humans equal roles in the clergy.
- The church is dying with its current all male 'celibate' priesthood. Clearly, the Amazon faithful are being led by women and there are not enough 'celibate' men. Therefore, their request for married priests and women deacons (at the very least) should have been honored. It would have been a good opportunity for the church to move towards the change that it desperately needs to renew itself.
- Disappointed it was not used to leverage inclusivity for the broader Church.
- It made me think what a Querida Los Estados Unidoswould be like as we have indigenous peoples also and real challenges on how we care for the land and culture here. It also made me appreciate what a big tent out church is. I hope that the church of Amazonia will pursue some of the ideas it raised up around married priests and women deacons. Finally, I hope that one day we will break free of the limitations that historical and current misogyny puts on how we really do see Jesus Christ incarnate in all people. Compared to the lyrical and far reaching beauty of the language in this exhortation, the language connected to women seemed so out of place and limited.
- I am saddened and disappointed by the ongoing exclusion of women from ministry and leadership in the Catholic Church. I pray that the all-male clergy recognize that woman are called to be priests just like they were called.
- The church is hogtied to tradition as far as clerical celibacy and the ordination of women are concerned. If he fails to act on the Amazon recommendation for modest change, there is no hope in the other two areas. I am depressed about the failure of Francis' church to modernize.
- This will not affect my personal faith. It will not affect the faith of people in my area at this time. But something has to be done very soon to address the many crises in the Catholic priesthood. As to the Amazon area, it is terribly sad that the church, out of fear, refuses to act. Fear is a terrible thing which paralyzes. There are elements of our Church which is already paralyzed. I grew up in the hope of the Second Vatican Council. The Church was alive. It seems so much of that life has dried up. Someone with a courage motivated by love needs to stand up. That is what I pray for.
- It’s the same old story, lots of talk but no action. Until we have honest dialogue and equal representation between clergy and laity plus women fully involved nothing will happen and the Catholic Church will fade into oblivion which is probably what needs to happen to start change.
- My largest concern is priestly celibacy and the all male priesthood. The Church has enough problems trying to remain relevant, but these issues are helping to throw it into the dumpster of history.
- With this effort, Francis introduced a way of governing that should be how the Church operates in the future, through consultation with those who live and experience life in the region in question. NO ONE could understand Amazonia better than those who live there.
- Dreaming about reforming the world, and dreaming about an integral ecology, without reforming the church, is not very appealing. RELIGIOUS PATRIARCHY is the big demon that is driving this nefarious process of social/ecological injustice: The connection between religious patriarchy and the ecological crisis has become patently evident since the industrial revolution made available the surplus energy of fossil fuels. It is a dynamic connection, a recursive process that can be summarized as follows: The ecological crisis is primarily induced by overpopulation. Overpopulation is mostly bred by irresponsible parenthood. Irresponsible parenthood is encouraged by the patriarchal culture. Patriarchy is a consequence of "original sin" (Genesis 3:16). The redemption is the end of patriarchy (Galatians 3:28). But religious patriarchy reinforces patriarchy (Ephesians 5:24). And patriarchy keeps reinforcing irresponsible parenthood. And irresponsible parenthood keeps reinforcing overpopulation. And overpopulation keeps exacerbating the ecological crisis.
- I can only hope that Pope Francis' long range plans come to fruition in a timely, forceful way. I am a bit frustrated by "two steps forward; one step backward".
- The " management" of the RC Church is taking NO effective action to see that the Church is staffed to get its mission accomplished.
- It was awful. I never believed the Pope Francis would go that far back. Makes me very unhappy.
- It makes me wish for a split with the Vatican, which is so ossified and corrupt that nothing will come through more conversation.
- It does not affect my own faith life. I feel Chapter 4 polarizes progressive non-dual Catholics and conservative Catholics.
- I don't understand the basis for believing that Jesus made a serious error when he called married men to continue his community and women to spread the Gospel. The actions speak loudly to the lack of appreciate for the role of the Eucharist in the lives of Catholic Christians. it diminishing the importance of the Eucharist to Catholic life. The discussion of women's role in the church is appalling.
- Although I am happy to have returned to the Church, I am saddened that the leaders and their support staff continue to defy the word of God. The lying continues unabated. As for me, I deal directly with Mary, Jesus and God because I know they all listen to me. I am sorry that Pope Francis has veered off the path he was on. My hopes were so high until today. Sorry to say, he is just another man. He needs a lot of prayers.
- It raised discussion on married priests, and role of women which is good. The disappointment was nothing positive on those issues was resolved, but I think P. Francis was consistent in his inference that these are cultural issues that should be decided by the countries/synods that see relevancy in making those changes. The difficulty is the hesitancy of local bishops to act contrary to what they see as the traditional (after the year 1400) church. As I wrote in WOC context, I think we already have a women priesthood -- close (I think) to 200 women priests already leading Intentional communities. As this grows, most people will see this as the church fulfilling the inferences of P. Francis. It will take time, and I may not be here to see it, but I believe it is coming.
- Parts were fine but was very disappointed that Francis was not encouraging ordination of the laity!
- Rome missed a chance to be relevant. They can change or become a cult. At this point I am close to not caring.
- Francis seemed boxed in by the retro-powers still in the Vatican and could not go as far as I sense/hope he would if truly free. We have to remember there are many sectors and view points in the global church/faithful and we are not yet in sufficient agreement that we all need to follow Christ and the Gospel. And sadly, in the US, most of our bishops (who are still of the JP2/B16 ilk) have sold out to the moneyed political base that supports their sick clericalism. My faith life is far beyond the four small corners of the institutional church so as to not be particularly affected by this. I hope the faithful of the Amazon and elsewhere will rise up and throw off the oppressive clerical state and help us all return to truly following Jesus. The Holy Spirit knows what she is doing and will see us through. Regrettably, perhaps a schism is what we need.
- Denying the Eucharist to Amazonian Catholics is a travesty, simply to perpetuate mandatory celibacy. And Jesus and the Holy Spirit must have cried because Their little ones suffer the lack of access to the grace of receiving the Holy Eucharist often because of no priests to celebrate it.
- I feel there is much less hope for reform if Pope Francis is passing on this opportunity to expand the roles of women and married priests especially with local bishops begging for his help in this way.
- It is likely that the effects in the Amazon region can be positive and inspiring, less in USA and hardly effective in Europe.
- Although I believe Francis' priority was the issues concerning the people and the environment of the Amazon, I believe he felt the very real pressure of the conservative groups in the church to not effectively address the pastoral needs of the region.
- I feel sorry for the people being deprived of the Eucharist for no good reason and for the deprivation of lay people in their baptized right as priest, prophet and King (Queen).
- Appreciate acknowledging the environmental issues but so disappointed with the narrow thinking regarding married priests and women deacons, the plan to shepherd and grow the Amazon Church and the Church worldwide without bold new thinking and brave action is to accept the continuing decline and death of the Church. Change and grow or die.
- I am so upset that I may finally leave....
- I feel, it will deepened my appreciation for care for the Amazon/environment.
- I have learned to manage my expectations and keep these expectations low.
- More positive emphasis should have made on the role of women and on the married priesthood!