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Why the Amazon Synod is an Attack on Our Lord’s Institution of the Apostolic Ministry

The Synods proposal that women be admitted to the ministries of lector and acolyte at first sight appears unexceptional but in reality it signifies an assault on Our Lord’s reservation of the apostolic ministry to men. This reservation is set out in Pope St John Paul II’s Ordinatio sacerdotalis which states:

“Priestly ordination, which hands on the office entrusted by Christ to his Apostles of teaching, sanctifying and governing the faithful, has in the Catholic Church from the beginning always been reserved to men alone. This tradition has also been faithfully maintained by the Oriental Churches.” (Ordinatio sacerdotalis).

The Amazon synod’s recommendation is about beginning to formally unravel and discard this sacred Tradition by incremental steps to the long term goal of the ‘ordination’ of women. Paragraph 102 of the synod recommends that women are formally instituted into the ministries of lector and acolyte. Paragraph 102 concludes:

“We ask you to review the Motu Proprio of St. Paul VI, Ministeria quaedam, so that also properly trained and prepared women can receive the ministries of the Lectorate and the Acolyte, among others to be developed…”

This is significant because, even though girls and women have acted as readers and altar servers for decades in some countries, this is not formal institution into the ministries of lector and acolyte. This is why the Amazon synod has requested that Francis ‘review the Motu Proprio of St. Paul VI, Ministeria quaedam’.

Paul VI’s ordered the abolition of Minor Orders in his Motu Proprio, Ministeria quaedam, issued in 1973. He reduced minor orders from four to two, abolishing Porter and Exorcist, and retaining Lector and Acolyte, renaming them ‘ministries’.

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