Pope Francis says he's willing to create a commission to study whether women can serve as deacons in the Catholic Church, signaling the possibility of letting women serve in ordained ministry.
Deacons are ordained ministers but are not priests. Currently, the church allows married men to be deacons but not priests. The pope in no way signaled during a meeting Thursday with superiors of women's religious orders that he would allow women priests.
But asked during a question-and-answer session if he would create a commission to study whether women could be deacons, as in the early church, Francis said he was open to the idea, the National Catholic Reporter reported.
U.S. & World
The publication quoted Francis as saying: "It seems useful to me to have a commission that would clarify this well."
Francis’ openness to studying the possibility of women serving as deacons could represent a historic shift for the global Catholic church, ending the global institution’s practice of an all-male clergy.