A senior South American cardinal is defending the agenda of the Vatican’s upcoming October meeting of Catholic bishops from the Amazon region after two retired European cardinals publicly alleged that it flouts church teachings.

Cardinal Pedro Barreto Jimeno, the archbishop of Huancayo in south-central Peru, says the agenda, which raises the possibility of ordaining older married men as priests in rural areas with pastoral needs, “largely expresses the feelings and desires of many representatives of the Amazon people.”

In an article published in the Italian Jesuit magazine La Civiltà Cattolica July 18, Barreto likewise says that the agenda, released June 17, is the fruit of consultation with nearly 90,000 people in the two years of preparation for the meeting, which is known as a synod and will be held at the Vatican Oct. 6-27. […]

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