Women’s ordination panel split on female deacons

Panel members at a conference organised by women’s ordination supporters have different views on conjectured future female deacons.

The five-person panel met as part of the “Open to the Door to Dialogue” conference held in Rome earlier this month.

Last month, Pope Francis said he would create a commission to study the history of female deacons in the Catholic Church.

Panel member Fr Tony Flannery from Ireland said if women are ordained as deacons, parishioners will no longer distinguish between males and females performing liturgies on the altar.

He said this would be a big step forward.

But US panel member Jamie Manson said the establishment of women deacons “runs the risk of being a compromise that ends up trapping women in a role in which they will continue to be subservient to men, particularly in service to priests”.

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