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Women In Love With Priests Write A Letter To The Pope Asking Him To End Celibacy Rules

Twenty-six Italian women, claiming to be in relationships with Catholic priests, want the Pope to make the Catholic church's celibacy requirement optional.

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The opening of the letter reads:

"Dear Pope Francis, we are a group of women from all over Italy (and further afield) and are writing to you to break down the wall of silence and indifference that we are faced with every day. Each of us is in, was or would like to start a relationship with a priest we are in love with."

The letter was sent to the Vatican, and signed with a single letter of their first names, along with their hometown. The women claim to be only a "small sample" of many, many women who are living in hiding about the men they love.

Austin Hunt is a curation editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

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