Report: Francis panel on female deacons to meet
Dont be surprised to see women "deacons" in the Apostate Church.
A commission set up by Pope Francis to study the issue of female Church deacons will meet in Rome for the first time as a full group next week, the National Catholic Reporter said Saturday.
The 13-member panel, which is examining the question in a move seen as a potential first step towards women entering the Catholic clergy, will convene on November 25 and 26, the NCR said.
Francis set up the commission in August following a pledge made to members of female religious orders, but experts warned he was unlikely to rush down the path of allowing women to serve as deacons.
Advocates have long argued that women are pitifully under-represented in the Church's hierarchy and decision-making processes, despite their numbers in religious orders far outweighing those of priests and monks.
Allowing women to enter the clergy at a rank just below a priest would represent a first step towards correcting this imbalance, they argue.
They also insist there is no theological obstacle to the move because of the precedent established by women performing the role in the early centuries of Christianity.
But critics point out that Pope John Paul II ruled in 1994 that "the Church has no authority whatsoever" to ordain women as priests, citing Jesus's choosing of only men to serve as his twelve apostles.
Francis said in May that it "would do good for the Church to clarify this point."
TCK: Freemasons really love the number 13 dont they?