The Roman Pope Backtracks on Married Priests and on Priestesses… Or Does He?

  Significantly, Francis’ post-synodal document on the Amazon has been declared to be part of Rome’s “magisterium” – i.e. “officially a kind of Church teaching” – whereas the Amazon Synod document itself is not.[9]  This distinction is very important.  “The final document [of the Synod], consisting of proposals made and voted by the Synod Fathers, has the weight of a synodal final document,” a cardinal explained, whereas the pope’s post-synodal document, “reflecting on the whole process and its final document, has the authority of ordinary magisterium of the Successor of Peter.” 

  When Roman Catholics speak of “the Word of God”, they do not only mean the Bible.  They mean the Bibles, plus “Church Tradition”, plus the “Magisterium”.  Thus Roman Catholics are to believe that Francis’ document is now part of what Rome calls “the Word of God”!  This is blasphemous, and on its own would be sufficient to reveal that Roman Catholicism is not in any way a Christian church.

  But the point right now is this: the suggestions made in the Synod’s final document remain in discussion only, “as proposals made by the Synod”.  This means that Roman Catholics are not required to believe, or even agree with, the proposals, or regard them as teachings of the pope.  His post-synodal document, however, they do have to believe and agree with!

  In other words, it is as I said in my previous article on the Amazon: it was an ideal and opportune time to drop into the mix some important proposals about married priests and about priestesses, to see what the reaction was like from the Roman Catholic faithful.  It was a testing of the wind, although not the main purpose of the Amazon Synod.  Well, the wind has been tested, and the pope of Rome has spoken.  He has made it clear that for now, there will be no married priests, and no priestesses, for the Amazon region; but he has not actually shut the door forever.  It is cracked open just enough that, if the need should ever become really urgent, Rome could change its position on both these things.  It hopes it will never have to, but it leaves the door open in case the time ever comes when the clamour for change grows too loud, and the choice becomes one of losing many members or changing centuries-old practice.  The Jesuits are past masters at doing the latter.

  Leaving aside the obvious heretical Romish teaching that abounds in this next quotation, pertaining to the false “Church” of Rome, the following by the editor of The Southern Cross, the Roman Catholic weekly of southern Africa, sums it up well: “[Francis] decided to leave all options open by not addressing the issue of viri probati [the model of the ordination of married men in particular circumstances] at all.  Some have called that a cop-out, others have celebrated the pope’s (non)-decision as a victory for the status quo.  It is neither of those things.  On the contrary: the pope issued a clear challenge to the Church’s culture of clericalism in which all leadership and all power is tied to priests.  By not approving the ordination of viri probati and women deacons… the pope is saying that generally power in the Church needn’t and shouldn’t be tied to clerical position…. In calling for new models of seeing, thinking and acting in the Church, Pope Francis is inviting the Church to follow the Holy Spirit into unchartered waters.”[10]

The Biblical Truth

  Of course, the New Testament is crystal clear that only men are to be pastors (1 Tim. 2:11-14; 1 Tim. 3:1,2,5; Tit. 1:5,6).  And the New Testament does not teach that there is a special priestly class!  There are pastors and teachers (Eph. 4:11; Phil. 1:1), but these men are not priests in any special sense.  All believers are priests (Rev. 1:6).  But these biblical truths are not stated here so as to give any impression that Romanism is somehow a Christian church with some errors, and that it could therefore reform and implement biblical changes!  It is a decidedly unchristian religion, in exactly the same boat as Hinduism, Islam, Judaism or Buddhism.  These biblical truths are stated simply to contrast Bible Christianity with false “christianity”.


  As I wrote at the conclusion of my article on the Amazon Synod:

  If the Papacy continues along its present trajectory in the years to come – in other words, if the seismic shift occurring under the Francis pontificate continues without being stopped by some kind of conservative, traditionalist backlash – the Roman Catholic institution of the near future will be a very different one, in all kinds of ways, from what it was in the past.  Rome boastfully claims it never changes.  This is a lie.  It has changed in the past, and it is changing again now.  Only time will tell what it will look like a few years down the line.  But of this much we may be certain: in a rapidly-changing world, it must change with the times in order to maintain its hold on its people.  It is not opposed to the world, but very much a part of it.  And the Jesuits who run it are past masters at “becoming all things to all men”, not in the true biblical sense, but in the sense of pleasing the worldly with devilish lies to keep them chained to the feet of the Roman pope.

April 2020

For further reading:

The Vatican’s Amazon Synod: Blazing a Jungle Trail to World Government, by Shaun Willcock.  Bible Based Ministries, November 2019. Available here:

Shaun Willcock is a minister, author and researcher.  He runs Bible Based Ministries.  For other articles (which may be downloaded and printed), as well as details about his books, audio messages, pamphlets, etc., please visit the Bible Based Ministries website; or write to the address below.  If you would like to be on Bible Based Ministries’ email list, to receive all future articles, please send your details.

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[1]. The Vatican’s Amazon Synod: Blazing a Jungle Trail to World Government, by Shaun Willcock.  Bible Based Ministries, November 2019.  Available on our website:

[2]. The Southern Cross, October 16 to 22, 2019.  Article: “Synod: Increase Role of Women, Laity in Ministry.” 

[3]. The Moynihan Letters, September 11, 2019.  Article: “The Matter of Schism.”

[4]. The Southern Cross, October 30 to November 5, 2019.  Article: “Cardinal: Ordination of Married for Further Study.” 

[5]. The Southern Cross, September 25 to October 1, 2019.

[6]., October 30, 2019.

[7]., February 12, 2020.  Article: “No Openings for Married Priests Nor Women Deacons in Pope’s Post-Synodal Exhortation on the Amazon ‘Querida Amazonia’”.

[8]. The Southern Cross, February 26 to March 3, 2020. Article: “Why Pope Francis is Disappointed by Reaction to Amazon Document.”

[9]. The Southern Cross, February 26 to March 3, 2020.  Article: “Exhortation is Part of Church’s Magisterium.”

[10]. The Southern Cross, February 26 to March 3, 2020.  Editorial: “Silence of Pope’s Cry.”