During the Amazon Synod, a key point of discussion will be the ordination of local married men to serve as priests in remote areas where Catholics have little access to the sacraments.
In this video interview, Fr. Francis G. Morrisey, OMI, discusses how such changes would fit within Church law. Fr. Morrisey, one of the world’s foremost experts on canon law, is Professor Emeritus of Canon Law at Saint Paul University, Ottawa, Canada. Already in northern Canada, he says many Native communities face a severe priest shortage similar to that in the Amazon. Some clergy now lead 15-18 parishes – and will travel 500 KM (300 miles) to say Masses during a weekend.
“The issue goes much deeper than ordaining married men. It’s what kind of pastoral care do you want to offer people,” Fr. Morrisey says. “No matter what you do, the fundamental right to sacraments is an over-riding principle … and the last words of the Code state that the supreme law is the salvation of souls.”