(Telegraph) Pope Francis has taken what could be the first step towards the ordination of women in the Roman Catholic Church by setting up a special commission to consider the possibility of female deacons.
The Vatican announced the appointment of panel of theological experts – half men, half women – to consider whether allowing women to become deacons could be allowed under the Church’s teaching.
Francis took the decision after “intense prayer and mature reflection”, a short announcement added.
It follows unscripted remarks by the Pope at an audience for senior nuns in Rome in May in which he indicated that he would consider a special commission to look at the role of women in the early Christian church.
He was asked during the gathering of the International Union of Superiors General (UISG), about references in the New Testament and early Christian writings to women described as servants of the church, or deacons. [More]