Pope Francis decides against allowing married men to become priests

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Celibacy issue dividing church as it seeks to address shortage of clerics in remote areas

Pope Francis has decided against opening up the Roman Catholic priesthood to married men – a move that will please traditionalists but dismay those who argue that easing the celibacy rule would tackle a shortage of clerics.

Instead, an “apostolic exhortation” from the pontiff has focused on environmental damage after bishops from the Amazon highlighted the destruction of the region’s rainforests and exploitation of Indigenous people at a Vatican summit last year.

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