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Vatican promises to consider women’s roles in ministry at upcoming summit

Cardinal Mario Grech, left, and father Giacomo Costa, right, on Tuesday. Associated Press/Photo by Alessandra Tarantino

Vatican promises to consider women’s roles in ministry at upcoming summit

Cardinal Mario Grech on Tuesday said that the Catholic church’s doctrine office would begin drafting a position statement on women’s roles in the Catholic church. The Vatican also described the endeavor in a document outlining the objectives of its upcoming October synod, or global assembly of clergy members.

Has the church shown interest in letting women serve as priests? During a CBS News Interview with Pope Francis in late May, reporter Norah O’Donnell asked that question. “No,” Pope Francis responded. He also dismissed the idea of women officially serving as deacons. Women serve well as women, not as ministers, he said. The Women’s Ordination Conference, which has pushed for women’s inclusion in the priesthood, expressed disappointment with that answer.

What other aspects of ministry will the clergy focus on in October? The Vatican News Agency reported that the synod would pay close attention to the topics of accountability and transparency—especially regarding instances of sexual abuse and child abuse. Clergy members will evaluate the church’s structures and practices and whether it treats vulnerable individuals respectfully, Vatican News reported.

Dig deeper: Read Lauren Canterberry’s report in The Sift about how the Vatican has excommunicated an archbishop critical of Pope Francis.

Josh Schumacher

Josh is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. He’s a graduate of World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

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