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Pope Francis calls on Catholic Church to support women's rights

Pope Francis.
Pope Francis. Photo: Simon Kremer/picture alliance via Getty Images

Pope Francis urged the Catholic Church to be attentive to women’s "legitimate claims" for equality and justice in a letter released on Tuesday, acknowledging that the institution has a long history of "male authoritarianism, domination, various forms of enslavement" and sexual abuse of women and children, per the AP.

Yes, but: Pope Francis also noted that the Church cannot agree with "everything some feminist groups propose" — a clear reference to the Vatican's ban on a female priesthood — and he stopped short of recommending improvements for women’s roles in the Church.