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In a release, the Vatican announced that Pope Francis has created a commission to study whether or not females may be ordained to the diaconate. Pope Francis first said that he intended to set up the study in an audience with nuns this May.

The commission will be comprised of 13 members, 6 male and 6 female, with Abp. Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer serving as the president.

Read the full Vatican release below:

In the course of a dialogue during a meeting with the participants in the Plenary Assembly of Superiors General, which took place in May, Pope Francis expressed his intention to “establish an official commission that could study the question” of the diaconate of women, “especially with regard to the first ages of the Church.”

After intense prayer and mature reflection, Pope Francis has decided to institute the Commission for the Study of the Diaconate of Women. As president of the Commission, Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, SJ. In addition to Archbishop Ladaria, the commission is composed of six women and six men from academic institutions around the world.

Below, please find the complete list of the members of the Commission for the Study of the Diaconate of Women:


Abp Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, S.J., Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith


Sr. Nuria Calduch‑Benages, M.H.S.F.N., member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission;

Prof. Francesca Cocchini, of the «La Sapienza» University, and of the Patristic Institute “Augustinianum,” Rome;

Msgr. Piero Coda, President of the University Institute «Sophia», Loppiano, and member of the International Theological Commission;

Fr Robert Dodaro, O.S.A., President of the Patristic Institute “Augustinianum,” Rome and professor of patrology;

Fr Santiago Madrigal Terrazas, S.J., professor of ecclesiology at the Pontifical University “Comillas,” Madrid;

Sr Mary Melone, S.F.A., Rector of the Pontifical University “Anonianum,” Rome;

Fr Karl‑Heinz Menke, professor emeritus of dogmatic theology at the University of Bonn and member of the International Theological Commission;

Fr Aimable Musoni, S.D.B., professor of ecclesiology at the Pontifical Salesian University, Rome;

Fr Bernard Pottier, S.J., professor at the “Institut d’Etudes Théologiques,” Brussels, and member of the International Theological Commission;

Prof. Marianne Schlosser, professor of spiritual theology at the University of Vienana, and member of the International Theological Commission;

Prof. Michelina Tenace, professor of fundamental theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome;

Prof. Phyllis Zagano, professor at Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York.

Release via News.va

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  1. While the book of Acts does mention a deaconess, there is no claim that hands were laid on these. In that the word (deacon) means helper/ assistant, anyone who helps or assists the priest could be called deacon without ordination. A deaconess was needed when women were Baptized because they were immersed which is immodest in public. The deaconess baptized the woman, then helped her into a dry garment before bringing her back to the assembly, providing a witness for the bishop of the baptism, so he could confirm this for those in attendance. This having been done, they would “feed” the newly baptized with the Eucharist. Deaconess is not mentioned further…. likely because they were not needed in baptizing babies which became the norm. In our own time, they may help/ assist and, in that way serve as deacons. However, there is no precedent for laying on hands.

  2. Deacon John DelQuadro, is perfectly right, The Orientals Catholics, 22 différents Churches United to Rome , wouldn’t never accept laid on hands for ordination of womens . Never to all the Orthodox Churches, that the pope try to unite wiht the Sea of Peter. Two others commisions were already made before., and conclde No;
    that was clear and no return back.
    Deacon François-Robert LalibertéFournier.

  3. UCatholic, where is your mind? Misinformation via headline is very misleading towards the youth as well as anyone else who reads this headline. It makes me think you have an agenda that you are pushing. Shameful.

  4. This is an inaccurate report. The study is to take a look at the historical role of deaconesses. It’s not about trying to figure out whether women may be ordained to the diaconate, which is totally different.

  5. It’s time for us to listen to the Holy Spirit! Men and women are equal in the eyes of God. Why then can’t women become Deacons? It’s not the man’s Roman Catholic!

  6. Joe Gazdick you’re right it is time for us to listening to the Holy Spirit, the same spirit that has said NO to woman priest for the last 2,000 years. It is time for people to start listening to 2,000 years of church teaching and quit pushing their agenda.


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