Catholic World News

Papal commission on female deacons holds first meeting

November 25, 2016

A special commission assembled by Pope Francis to study the history of female deacons in the early Church held its first meeting on November 25.

The 12-member commission will hold two days of sessions this week. Archbishop Luis Ladaria Ferrer, the secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is chairing the sessions.

Pope Francis announced the formation of the commission in May. Responding to a request from the International Union of Superiors General for clarification of the status of female deacons in the early Church, the Pope said that it “will be good for the Church to clarify this point.”


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  • Posted by: dfp3234574 - Nov. 28, 2016 5:11 PM ET USA

    Gee. What could go wrong?

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Nov. 26, 2016 9:10 AM ET USA

    I suppose that a second or third look cannot hurt. That is, of course, if the new study is objective and not undermined by a bias against the history already recounted in countless textbooks and other sources. The writings of the Fathers, dozens of history books from the last 100+ years, and Church practice all indicate the proper role of "deaconesses" in the early Church. This role was wise and commendable in the days of innocence and purity. Service is service, regardless of how it is labeled.

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Nov. 26, 2016 7:30 AM ET USA

    And the OBVIOUS omission, of course, is of Rev. Mr. anybody. No deacons on the panel??? Are there no deacons with advanced degrees? (Some of us have one or two.) And, no, I am not volunteering.