In 2017, Pope Francis (left) and Pope Benedict meet at the Vatican on the occasion of the elevation of five new cardinals. Photo: Maurix/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Former Pope Benedict, 92, in a book written with a conservative cardinal, defends priestly celibacy in an apparent strategic appeal to Pope Francis, 83, to keep the centuries-old rules, reports Reuters.

What's happening: Pope Francis is considering a recommendation that would allow the ordination of married men as priests in the remote Amazon.

  • Francis' Apostolic Exhortation on this and other issues — including the role of women — is expected in the next few months, Reuters said.

Details: "Benedict wrote the book, 'From the Depths of Our Hearts,' with Cardinal Robert Sarah, 74, a Guinean prelate who heads the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments."

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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