ROME — Pope Francis has opposed allowing married men to be ordained priests in the Amazon region, sticking to the Catholic Church’s tradition of celibacy.
In an October 2019 synod, Amazon bishops called for admitting married men into the priesthood only in their region, to make up for an acute lack of clergy in the remote rainforest areas.
But Pope Francis opposed the move and instead urged Amazon bishops to encourage missionaries to come to the Amazon region. “Be more generous in encouraging those who display a missionary vocation to opt for the Amazon region,” he said on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 in an Apostolic Exhortation called “Dear Amazon.”
“The Amazon challenges us, the Pope writes, to overcome limited perspectives and not to content ourselves with solutions that address only part of the situation,” he added.
Many conservative Catholics have spoken out against the idea of married priests, arguing that this could lead to the global abolition of celibacy.
On Wednesday, the Pope announced he had decided not to allow women to serve as deacons, a lower rank than priest.
He called for the environment in the Amazon to be defended due to its vital role in mitigating global warming.
“We demand an end to the mistreatment and destruction of mother Earth,” the Pope said.