The suggestion comes as part of a plan to include isolated indigenous communities in the Amazon in the church. On the first day of a regional synod, Pope Francis condemned destructive self-interest behind fires devastating the Amazon.
The pope is striving for a different kind of Catholic Church — one that commits to ecology and the poor. But he is reluctant to institute the reforms hoped for in Europe and North America, DW's Christoph Strack writes.
Catholic Amazon bishops suggested married men could become priests in the Amazon region to address a shortage. Pope Francis responded by recommending prayer for more eligible priests, plus sending more missionaries.
On Sunday, Benedict, who retired in 2013, published comments in which he reaffirmed the importance of priest celibacy rules, seen as critical of Pope Francis. Now, he has distanced himself somewhat from the comments.
Bishops have proposed reforming the church's stance on ordaining married men and raising awareness on climate change. Meanwhile, the church still heavily opposes a female ministry and women's voting rights.
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