Skip to main content

Francis did not say he would ordain women deacons, says Vatican

Instead, the pope actually suggested forming a commission to look into the matter

Nuns sing as they wait for Pope Francis' arrival at an audience with the heads of women's religious orders in Paul VI hall at the Vatican May 12. During a question-and-answer session with members of the International Union of Superiors General, the pope indicated his willingness to establish a commission to study whether women could serve as deacons.

Pope Francis “did not say he intends to introduce a diaconal ordination for women,” and he certainly did not speak about the ordination of women priests, the Vatican spokesman said Friday.

Pope Francis met members of the International Union of Superiors General, the leadership group for superiors of women’s orders, May 12 and accepted a proposal that he establish a commission to study the role of New Testament deaconesses and the possibility of women serving as deacons today.

After some news outlets reported the pope was considering ordaining women deacons and comments were made about women deacons leading to women priests, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi issued a clarification May 13.

The spokesman insisted “it is wrong to reduce all the important things the pope said to the religious women to just this question.”

Women and the diaconate “is a question that has been discussed much, including in the past, and that comes from the fact that in the early church there were women who were called deaconesses, who carried out certain services within the community,” Lombardi said.

This article continues at [Crux] Pope didn’t say he’d ordain women deacons, spokesman says

Back to top