February 7, 2020
By Nicole Winfield
Pope Francis will release his eagerly-awaited document on the Amazon next Wednesday, with attention focused on whether he will approve calls by the region’s bishops to ordain married men to address a priest shortage there.
Speculation about Francis’ decision has intensified in recent weeks after retired Pope Benedict XVI co-authored a book insisting on the “foundational” need for a celibate priesthood. The book, excerpts of which were published Jan. 12, appeared to be a direct attempt by the retired pope and his conservative allies to influence the thinking of the current one.
Vatican officials sought to defuse that idea Friday, saying Francis had turned over his document to the Holy See for translation on Dec. 27, before “From the Depths of Our Heart” came out. They said Francis’ text did not undergo any changes since then.