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Pope Francis on Wednesday rejected a proposal to allow married men become catholic priests in remote areas of the Amazon.

An approval would have reversed the age-long practice that Roman Catholic priests must be celibate.

However, the pope in a letter released by the Vatican on Wednesday, according to the New York Times, dismissed the goal for such recommendation as a “very narrow aim.”

The pope was quoted to have turned down the recommendation, saying that “a specific and courageous response is required of the Church.”

Catholic bishops from across the Amazon had in October called for the ordination of married men as priests to address a scarcity of clergy in the nine South American countries in the region.

They had argued that the Catholic faithful in the region have “enormous difficulties” in receiving communion and seeing a priest, and called for ordination of some married men as priests.

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