Pope Francis Says No To Women As Priests In Catholic Church But Officially Permits Them To Serve At Mass As Lectors And Acolytes
Pope Francis Says No To Women As Priests In Catholic Church But Officially Permits Them To Serve At Mass As Lectors And AcolytesNational Catholic Register

Pope Francis has changed the laws of the Catholic Church to explicitly allow women to serve at Mass as readers and distributors of communion, while reaffirming they cannot be priests, Vatican News reported.

While it is a common practice in many parts of the world, Pope Francis will amend the law that will now permit women can read the Gospel and serve on the altar as Eucharistic ministers. Conservative bishops have blocked women from performing even such roles.

The decree from the Vatican on Monday noted, however, that these roles were fundamentally different from allowing women to be ordained as priests, something that will still not be allowed. Vatican expressed that these lay roles, officially known as lector and acolyte, were "essentially distinct" from the ordained ministry of the priesthood.

Pope Francis as been under pressure to permit women to be deacons — ordained ministers who perform many of the same functions as priests, such as presiding at weddings, baptisms and funerals. Currently, the ministry is reserved for men.

The new formulation of the canon issued by the cannon said “Lay persons who possess the age and qualifications established by decree of the conference of bishops can be admitted on a stable basis through the prescribed liturgical rite to the ministries of lector and acolyte."

The specification “lay men” qualifying the laity and present in the Code until today’s modification, is, therefore, abolished.

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