Pope sidesteps married priests issue

World | ASSOCIATED PRESS 13 Feb 2020

Pope Francis declined yesterday to approve the ordination of married men to address the priest shortage in the Amazon, sidestepping an issue that has dominated debate in the Catholic Church.

In an eagerly-awaited document, Francis didn't even refer to recommendations by Amazonian bishops to consider the ordination of married men and women deacons. Rather, he urged bishops to pray for more priestly vocations and send missionaries to the region, where the faithful living in remote communities can go months or even years without Mass.

The document, Beloved Amazon, is instead a love letter to the Amazonian rain forest and its indigenous peoples. He addressed the document to all peoples of the world "to help awaken their affection and concern for that land which is also ours and to invite them to value it and acknowledge it as a sacred mystery.''

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