Pope Francis has hinted that he might consider the idea of allowing women deacons in the Catholic Church.
The pontiff’s position was revealed after a woman asked about the possibility of an official commission to study the issue during an assembly of leaders of women’s religious orders at the Vatican on Thursday.
“Why not?,” said Francis.
“Constituting an official commission that might study the question?”. “I believe yes. It would do good for the church to clarify this point. I am in agreement.”
“I accept,” the Pope said. “It seems useful to me to have a commission that would clarify this well,” he added, according to The National Catholic Reporter.
Deacons are ordained ministers who can preach or preside over weddings and funerals, but can not conduct Mass.
In recent times they have become a necessary part of church services, particularly in the US and Europe, where there is a shortage of men entering the priesthood in many areas.
The Church currently teaches that Jesus established the priesthood as an all-male institution by choosing only men as his apostles.