On July 9, Cardinal Mario Grech announced that Pope Francis has tasked the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith (DDF) with studying the role of women in the Church, including the possibility of women deacons.

The DDF’s study, part of a broader examination of ministries, is being conducted in coordination with the General Secretariat of the Synod on Synodality.

Cardinal Grech explained that the study will address “the question of the necessary participation of women in the life and leadership of the Church.”

While the Instrumentum Laboris, the working document for the upcoming Synod on Synodality in October, excludes the female diaconate from its agenda, the Vatican confirmed the DDF’s ongoing research into “specific ministerial forms” to publish a document on women’s roles.

The Synod on Synodality’s final assembly in October will focus instead on proposals such as a new “ministry of listening and accompaniment.”

In February, Spanish nun and theologian Linda Pocher said Pope Francis has shown support for the concept of female deacons within the Catholic Church.

Photo credit: Reshetnyak / Shutterstock.com
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