Last Thursday, Italian Catholic magazine Corrispondenza Romana published leak drafts of Pope Francis’ upcoming apostolic exhortation on the Amazon synod.

Catholic historian and author of the article Roberto de Mattei said recently a group of “several bishops” were sent a “part” of the draft, one of which shared the partial draft of the apostolic exhortation with him.

Mattei says the leaked draft of the apostolic exhortation reproduces nearly verbatim paragraph 111 of the final document of the Amazon synod, which called for the ordination of married men and making exceptions to the priestly vow of celibacy.

Mattei said this is not “fake news” and the leaked draft would “open the door” for a married clergy in the Church, not just in the Pan-Amazonian region.

“There is no reason to prohibit in other regions of the world what will be permitted in some parts of the Amazon.”

Mattei speculated certain bishops received the partial draft to gauge their reactions, and said the draft may not be the final apostolic exhortation promulgated by Pope Francis, expected sometime in February.

The Vatican Dicastery for Communication responded saying that “what is now circulating is one draft, which was distributed for review and comment as the final text is developed.”

Read below the portion of the Amazon synod final document calling for ordaining married men:

“We propose that criteria and dispositions be established by the competent authority, within the framework of Lumen Gentium 26, to ordain as priests suitable and respected men of the community with a legitimately constituted and stable family, who have had a fruitful permanent diaconate and receive an adequate formation for the priesthood, in order to sustain the life of the Christian community through the preaching of the Word and the celebration of the Sacraments in the most remote areas of the Amazon region.”

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