In Synod’s ‘Married Priests’ Debate, Someone Finally Names the Elephant in the Room

In a Synod of Bishops where priest shortages in the Amazon have been driving discussion of ordaining married men, the surprise really isn’t that someone finally noticed there’s another solution, one that doesn’t require changing the traditional criteria for getting a Roman collar.

The only surprise, probably, is that it’s taken this long for someone to say it out loud.

Yet there was Bishop Johnny Eduardo Reyes, apostolic vicar of Puerto Ayacucho, Venezuela, on Tuesday night, naming the elephant in the room during a meeting titled “On the way with the synod, witnesses and martyrs of the faith in the Amazon.”

Basically, Reyes’s question was why some of the gaggle of priests in Rome don’t fan out into the field, serving places such as the Amazon instead.

“All these priests and religious that we see on TV… It cannot be that they’re all studying in Rome,” he said. “The distribution of priests and religious is not good.”

To quote that 90’s classic: “Whoomp! There it is.”

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