Changes

Pope Francis has formed a theology committee to consider female deacons

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Pope Francis is greeted by nuns from the Monastery of the Precious Blood in Brooklyn, N.Y. (Photo by John Paraskevas-Pool/Getty Images)

The Catholic Church could break with hundreds of years of tradition to allow women to serve in an official capacity during the Mass, after Pope Francis announced Tuesday the formation of a commission to study whether women should be allowed to be ordained as deacons. A deacon can preach and preside over certain ceremonies, including weddings and funerals, but cannot celebrate Mass in the Catholic Church, which only ordained priests can do. Deacons can also be married, while priests must remain celibate.

Pope Francis said today that seven men and six women, all of them considered leading theologians, would look into the issue, including studying the historic role of women in the early years of the church.

“It would be useful for the Church to clarify this question,” Francis said back in May while speaking to a gathering of female religious orders.

The Vatican noted that the pope was not considering making women priests.

Read the full story at the BBC.

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