A group of French laypeople has said that Pope Francis’ post-Amazon Synod apostolic exhortation, Querida Amazonia, is an invitation to be “inventive” in the Church “without waiting for the hierarchy”.

“We can’t be disappointed that the Pope makes no decision on different ministries and at the same time ask it be the people who propose the changes”

Full text of the CCBF* statement on Querida Amazonia:

The CCBF takes note of the encouragement contained in this apostolic exhortation for Catholics.

It invites them to be inventive in matters of ministries, celebrations and rites, in conformity with the genius of Christianity, so that they feel fully responsible for the proclamation of the Gospel, without waiting for approval from the hierarchy.

The apostolic exhortation “Dear Amazon” which has just appeared refocuses on the Amazonian question which it explores in all its dimensions, economic, political, ecological, cultural and ecclesial.

In doing so, it ignores, without approving or canceling them, the proposals of the bishops assembled in synod who had, by a large majority, pronounced in favor of the ordination of married men, to alleviate not only the shortage of priests, the dispersion of communities, but also their cultural differences, in particular linguistic ones.

Some hoped for a decision from the Magisterium for a free choice of ministers ordained between celibacy and marriage.

But one cannot at the same time be disappointed that the Pope does not make a decision on the ministries and at the same time ask that it is the people who propose the changes. One cannot at the same time aspire to a synodal structure and wait for the current organization to decide to establish it.

Apart from his prophetic mission, Pope Francis is sensitive to his symbolic position as guarantor of the unity of a Catholic Church, currently threatened by the temptation of a schism.

The CCBF considers that the apostolic exhortation encourages all the people of God to invent in matters of ministries, celebrations and rites, in conformity with the genius of Christianity, and so that they feel completely responsible for the announcement of the ‘Gospel, without waiting for approval from the hierarchy.

A Synodal Church will result from a state of affairs by avoiding confrontation in matters of discipline.

As Francis says, we must “overcome limited perspectives to seek broader and more daring paths”. Well, let’s go!

The Conference of the Baptized, France

*The CCBF is a network of people and associations in 1901 that brings together open-minded Christians. At the center of this network, an association (the Diaconia for the Baptized) manages common services and pools experiences. The network promotes a real public opinion in the Church and contributes by taking positions and services – celebrations, readings followed by gospels, formation, conferences, discussion forum, etc. – to put themselves in the wake of the Synodal Church advocated by Pope Francis.

(Source: We Are Church International)

Novena’s coverage of reactions to the post-Amazon Synod apostolic exhortation:

Amazon exhortation: Bishops, theologians, observers continue to insist Pope “hasn’t shut door” to optional celibacy

Catholic women raise stakes after Amazon exhortation ordination denial, call for abolition of all Church hierarchies

Irish Primate, on married priests: “I am very much open to the idea, and I think Pope Francis is too”

Despite Amazon exhortation letdown, German bishops, laity pledge to fight on in synodal path for married priests, female deacons

Despite Amazon Synod snub, global Catholic women vow to “take responsibility for our Church into our hands”

Amazon exhortation: lay groups lament Francis’ “lack of courage for real reforms” on married priests, women

‘Querida Amazonía’: Priests, bishops disappointed with Pope for “simply kicking can down road” on celibacy

Women’s ordination advocates blast Amazon exhortation: “Outdated”, “institutional sexism”, “degradation”, “discrimination”

Catholic aid org CIDSE welcomes Amazon exhortation: “A poetic call to undertake radical changes”

‘Querida Amazonía’: 7 of the Pope’s most powerful political statements, beyond the Church debates

Amazon exhortation: Vatican cardinal insists Pope “has not resolved” questions of married priesthood, women’s diaconate

Amazon exhortation: Vatican editorial director explains ‘no’ (for now?) to married priests, female deacons

In Amazon exhortation, Pope puts need for greater Church “inculturation” above married priests, female deacons


PhD in ancient Jewish/Christian history and philosophy. University ethics lecturer with 4 years' experience in religion journalism.