Pope Francis on Wednesday rejected a proposal that married men be ordained in the Amazon region to address a shortage of priests.
The recommendation, which Latin American bishops introduced last year, had alarmed conservatives in the deeply polarized 1.3 billion-member Roman Catholic Church, who feared it could lead to a change in the age-old commitment to celibacy among priests.
In an Apostolic Exhortation, Francis delivered his response three months after the proposal was made during a contentious assembly of Roman Catholic bishops, or synod, at the Vatican, Reuters reported.
Francis didn’t even refer to the recommendations by Amazonian bishops to consider the ordination of married deacons. Instead, he urged bishops to pray for more priestly vocations and send missionaries to the region.
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