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After their call for married priests, pope thanks bishops

Pope Francis has thanked Amazon regional bishops for their "candor" at a meeting which called for ordaining married priests and other changes to help the Catholic church's far-flung flock in that part of South America.

In his homily Sunday at a Mass to conclude weeks of discussions at the Vatican on the needs of the Amazon's faithful, Francis didn't mention the bishops' vote to press the Vatican to allow married men to become priests in special circumstances.

A day earlier, Francis told bishops he would draw his conclusions in a document he hoped to write by year's end.

Pope Francis presides over a Mass for the closing of the Amazon synod in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP PhotoAlessandra Tarantino)

Allowing married men to be ordained in remote Amazon areas that are facing severe shortage of priests would chip away at the Catholic Church's nearly millennium-old teaching upholding priestly celibacy.

Pope Francis presides over a Mass for the closing of the Amazon synod in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP PhotoAlessandra Tarantino)

Pope Francis presides over a Mass for the closing of the Amazon synod in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP PhotoAlessandra Tarantino)

Pope Francis arrives to preside over a Mass for the closing of the Amazon synod in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019. (AP PhotoAlessandra Tarantino)