VATICAN CITY (AP) — Organizers of a Vatican meeting on the Amazon defended plans to introduce debate on married priests, saying Thursday the proposal represents the “the voice of the local church” and isn’t an official proposal of the pope.

Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri acknowledged the Oct. 6-27 synod on the Amazon has generated criticism, including from cardinals who have accused organizers of making “heretical” proposals in the working document.

Baldisseri told a news conference that such “freedom of expression” was allowed. But he stressed that the working document would be replaced by a final one voted on by Amazonian bishops, and was merely a summary of two years of listening to the Amazonian faithful.

Pope Francis, history’s first Latin American pope, called the meeting in

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