The 185 voting members of the Synod on the Amazon met at the Vatican on October 26, 2019, to approve the final list of proposals for Pope Francis to consider after three weeks of prayer and discussion on the state of the Amazon rainforest and its people.
The final document's main proposals include:
- Allow for the priestly ordination of married men on a regional basis in order to address a lack of ministers across the nine-nation region.
- Reopen the study commission on ordination of women as deacons.
- Adopt a definition of ecological sin as "a sin against future generations that manifests itself in acts and habits of pollution and destruction of the environmental harmony."
- Divest the Church in the Amazon from extractive industries that cause socio-ecological harm to the earth and indigenous communities.
At the end of the voting process, Pope Francis spoke off-the-cuff to the Synod participants, which included women and indigenous peoples as well as male clergy, and said, "I am going to try to reconvene this [commission] with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and appoint new people in this commission and take up the challenge." The pope went on to say "What is said in the document falls short of what the woman is; in the transmission of faith, in the preservation of culture."
Photo: Way of the Cross in Rome, October 19, 2019.