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Pope Francis talks to bishops at the end of the closing session of the Synod on the Pan-Amazon region, Oct. 26, Vatican City. Photo: Alessandra Benedetti-Corbis/Corbis

Pope Francis announced that a study into ordaining female deacons would be reopened after a Vatican meeting of bishops from the Amazon voted for the move and to allow the ordination of married men as priests in the region, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: The overhaul of centuries of Catholic teachings on priests' celibacy and women's role in the church would address the issue of a priest shortage in the Amazon region, but many traditional conservatives are against such moves.

  • Catholic deacons are men who've been ordained to conduct some of the same roles as priests, per the Catholic Spirit. Francis has said he's against ordaining female priests.
  • Those strongly for and against female priests in the Catholic Church see a female deaconate as a means to enabling a review of introducing women as priests, per the New York Times and the National Catholic Reporter.

The big picture: During the final day of the three-week assembly of the South American bishops, the proposal on married men in the Amazon region being ordained priests passed by 128 votes to 41, while 137 of those voting backed the reopening of a commission to examine women's history, including female deacons, and 30 were against it, per the National Catholic Reporter.

What he's saying: The Vatican News reports that Francis said "priests, lay people, men and women religious, and permanent deacons can all contribute to strengthening the proclamation of the Gospel" and that "greater creativity" was needed in the application of "new ministries. ... This includes studying the role of women and permanent deacons in the early Church."

  • The National Catholic Reporter notes that Francis said after the vote concerning female deacons, "I am going to take up the challenge … that you have put forward, that women be heard."

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

Go deeper

Twitter to label COVID-19 vaccine misinformation, implement strike policy

Photo: Illustration by Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Twitter announced Monday that it will label tweets with potentially misleading information about COVID-19 vaccines, and introduce a strike system that can lead to permanent account suspension.

The big picture: Tech companies are taking an increasingly aggressive stance against users who attempt to share misleading information about COVID-19 vaccines on their platforms.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Trump, Melania received COVID vaccine at White House in January — CDC director warns "now is not the time" to lift COVID restrictions.
  2. Vaccine: J&J CEO "absolutely" confident in vaccine distribution goals Most states aren't prioritizing prisons for COVID vaccines — Vaccine hesitancy is shrinking.
  3. Economy: Apple says all U.S. stores open for the first time since start of pandemic — What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.
  5. World: Italy tightens restrictions as experts warn of growing prevalence of variants — PA announces new COVID restrictions as cases surge.
  6. Local: Colorado sets timeline for return to normalcy.
Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump received COVID vaccine at White House in January

Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

Former President Trump and former first lady Melania Trump were both vaccinated at the White House in January, a Trump adviser tells Axios.

Why it matters: Trump declared at CPAC on Sunday that "everybody" should get the coronavirus vaccine — the first time he's encouraged his supporters, who have been more skeptical of getting vaccinated, to do so.

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