Pope Francis Opens the Possibility of Women Serving as Deacons

The pope will create a commission to study the issue.

Evandro Inetti/ZUMA

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Speaking to an international meeting of the world congregations of Catholic women on Thursday, Pope Francis announced that the church should create an official commission to examine the expansion of women’s roles, including for them to be ordained as deacons, the National Catholic Register reports. He also described the church’s integration of women as “very weak.”

Ordained deacons are now all male and can perform some official functions—though not to celebrate Mass. Francis’ statement came during a question-and-answer session, during which he was asked to explain the current exclusion of women from serving in ordained roles, especially since women were permitted to be ordained in the early church. One woman asked, “Why not construct an official commission that might study the question?”

“Constituting an official commission that might study the question?” Francis responded. “I believe yes. It would do good for the church to clarify this point. I am in agreement. I will speak to do something like this.”

According to Catholic News, Francis told the group that it was his understanding that women in early scripture were not ordained as permanent deacons, and that he had meditated on the issue with a professor years ago. His announcement on Thursday signaled a historic step that could potentially open the doors for women to serve in that ordained position.

The pope, however, did not comment on the role of women serving as priests, something he has previously rejected as a change that “cannot be done.”

 

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Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

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Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

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