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Pope Francis is willing to discuss allowing female deacons in the Catholic Church

Pope Francis waves at faithfuls standing on the beachfront as he arrives on the popemobile at Copacabana beach to participate in a re-enactment of the 14 Stations of the Cross -- scenes of Jesus carrying the cross to his crucifixion -- in Rio de Janeiro, on July 26, 2013. Pope Francis, who is in Rio for the weeklong gathering of young Catholics World Youth Day, took his high-octane mission to "shake up" Catholic faith back to the streets of Brazil Friday, greeting throngs of pilgrims, meeting convicts and hearing youngsters confess their sins. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis may consider the possibility of female deacons

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.

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“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.


Fiona Audley

Fiona Audley is Managing Editor with The Irish Post. You can follow her on Twitter @fifiaudley

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