Will the Amazon Synod give us married priests? We already have that. I fail to understand why there is so much commotion and fear that Pope Francis will approve of married priests. The Church has always had some married priests. And I don’t really think there will be a large influx of married men who want to add the priesthood to the many tasks of their already busy life.
Men become priests to dedicate their lives to God, not their spare time.
What the Amazon Synod will actually give us is women deacons. I think that Pope Francis will likely use papal infallibility to proclaim that the Church does possess the authority to ordain women as deacons. For deacons do not stand in persona Christi. They do not administer any Sacraments other than the two that can be administered by lay persons in extraordinary cases. But women priests is not possible until after Christ returns.
The response from the papal critics? They will accuse Pope Francis of apostasy. They will declare that either he was never a valid Pope, or that he is now no longer a valid Pope, or that it doesn’t matter if the election was valid or not, as he (supposedly) must be invalid now.
But they will not be able to remain in the parishes and dioceses, as they have been, despite their opposition to the Pope. With women taking the roles of deacons, the parishes will begin to permit women who are NOT deacons to take roles similar to that of deacon: read the Gospel, preach a sermon, take roles of leadership not formally forbidden to women but usually taken by priests, etc. It will open up OTHER doors for women. People will say if women can be deacons, they can be…anything but priest, bishop, or Pope.
I also think that Pope Francis will appoint some women lay Cardinals or deaconess Cardinals.
Presently, the parishes are filled with persons who refuse submission to the Pope. They attack the Pope online, in talks and articles, and in books. They have committed public formal schism. Yet they continue to unworthily receive Communion. They continue to speak as if they were faithful, and the Pope were unfaithful. But when women deacons come to the parishes, they will have to leave. They will not attend Mass with women serving as deacons. They will finally leave in body, though they left in mind and heart already.
I think the Church is better off, for a time, being smaller and holier. If they repent, they may return. Otherwise, those who are certain they are holier and more orthodox than the Pope should stop pretending they are Catholic.
To the faithful, I say: do not be disturbed by the accusations of the arrogant against the Pope. The grace of God guarantees that the Pope will not teach grave error, nor enact a discipline that gravely harms the Church, nor fail in faith by schism, heresy, or apostasy. Do not make the mistake of trusting in your own mind and heart. Instead, exercise the virtue of faith by believing what the Pope teaches even when it is contrary to your own understanding. That is true faith. You will be greatly rewarded by God. But if you fall away by rejecting the Pope — when all he did was teach you something you did not already know — you will be punished by God. Is it not the job of every teacher to teach students what they did not already know, and to correct the errors that they think they know? But most conservative Catholic leaders today do not accept correction, not even from the Pope. And they do not want anyone to teach them anything but what they already think is true.
Forward in Faith. Anchor your ship to the pillar of the Roman Pontiff and the pillar of the body of Bishops, and you will survive the schism with your faith intact.
Ronald L. Conte Jr.