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The Pope will create a commission to study what role deaconesses had in the early church

2016-05-13

Pope Francis has repeatedly called for a more inclusive presence of the "feminine genius” in the Church.

For the Pope, it is not to clericalize their contribution in order to ordain them priests, but instead to analyze how they can be more effective throughout the Church.

POPE FRANCIS
July 28, 2013
"Regarding the ordination of women, the Church has spoken and says no. This is what John Paul II has said as a final decision. That door is closed. But on this I will tell you something: the Virgin Mary was more important than the Apostles, than bishops and deacons and priests. Women, in the Church, are more important than bishops and priests. How? This is something we have to try to explain better.”

To achieve this, the Pope has proposed the establishment of a commission to examine the role of women in the early Church.

This would be to understand the nature and functions of deaconesses; especially women who were involved in specific tasks of the Christian community in the early centuries.

RODRIGO AYUDE
Journalist and Theologian
"We have to go back to those early centuries of Christianity to understand that the word "deacon" is not necessarily coupled to a sacrament, but essentially means at the service of others.”

The Pope announced the establishment of this committee during a meeting at the Vatican with 900 superiors of religious orders worldwide. He explained that in the past, these women were responsible for such tasks as the anointing of women prior to baptism.

Pope Francis said it is necessary that women have more weight in decision-making processes, because their contribution enriches the Church. He said that a woman can preach on the Liturgy of the Word, but is unable to at Mass, because the nature of the act is different.

He also warned against the danger of clericalism; of priests who do not consider the laity capable to help lead the community and lay people who don't collaborate with the priests.

In the Catholic Church today the diaconate is reserved for men who will after be ordained priests or for married men who serve as permanent deacons.


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