A conference of Catholic bishops in Rome is set to discuss whether to allow married men to be ordained.

 

The three-week conference in the Vatican is working on how to develop the faith in the Amazon -- and will discuss whether it's time to loosen the doctrine of celibacy.

 

The Catholic Church wants to spread the faith among indigenous communities in the Amazon region.

 

The Synod of Bishops is meeting in Rome over the next three weeks for a major conference on how exactly to do that.

 

Part of the problem is there just aren't enough priests in remote areas -- and it means some of the faithful only see a priest as little as once a year.

 

The suggestion from bishops in South America and some of those indigenous people is that the criteria for becoming a "minister authorized to celebrate the Eucharist" be loosened.

 

And it's being suggested some people in communities in the most distant parts of the region  could be allowed say mass -- even if they have a family already.

 

It would mark a break with centuries of tradition for the Church.

 

Backers of the move say it might be supported by some bible verses referring to the practices of the early Christian church.

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