cloudyn.png
Monday March 1st, 2021 9:25PM

Pope says women can read at Mass, but still can't be priests

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis changed church law Monday to explicitly allow women to do more things during Mass, granting them access to the most sacred place on the altar, while continuing to affirm that they cannot be priests.

Francis amended the law to formalize and institutionalize what is common practice in many parts of the world: Women can be installed as lectors, to read Scripture, and serve on the altar as eucharistic ministers. Previously, such roles were officially reserved to men even though exceptions were made.

Francis said he was making the change to increase recognition of the “precious contribution” women make in the church, while emphasizing that all baptized Catholics have a role to play in the church’s mission.

But he also noted that doing so further makes a distinction between “ordained” ministries such as the priesthood and diaconate, and ministries open to qualified laity. The Vatican reserves the priesthood for men.

The change comes as Francis remains under pressure to allow women to be deacons — 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 even though historians say the ministry was performed by women in the early church.

Francis has created a second commission of experts to study whether women could be deacons, after a first one reported on the history of women deacons in the early church.

Advocates for expanding the diaconate to include women say doing so would give women greater say in the ministry and governance of the church, while also helping address priest shortages in several parts of the world.

Opponents say allowing it would become a slippery slope toward ordaining women to the priesthood.

Phyllis Zagano, who was a member of the pope’s first study commission, called the changes important given they represent the first time the Vatican has explicitly and through canon law allowed women access to the altar. She said it was a necessary first step before any official consideration of the diaconate for women.

“This is the first codification of allowing women inside the sanctuary," said Zagano. “That’s a very big deal.”

Noting that bishops have long called for such a move, she said it opens the door to further progress. “You can’t be ordained as deacons unless you’re installed as lectors or acolytes," said Zagano, an adjunct professor of religion at Hofstra University.

Lucetta Scaraffia, the former editor of the Vatican’s women magazine, however, called the new changes a “double trap.” She said they merely formalize what is current practice, including at papal Masses, while also making clear that the diaconate is an “ordained” ministry reserved for men.

“This closes the door on the diaconate for women,” she said in a phone interview, calling the change “a step backward” for women.

___

This version corrects to say that women can read Scripture, not Gospel.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP World News
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Pelosi says House will impeach Trump, pushes VP to oust him
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the House will proceed with legislation to impeach President Donald Trump as she pushes the vice president to invoke constitutional authority to force him out
6:16AM ( 9 minutes ago )
Leaders at summit focus on better protecting biodiversity
Protecting the world’s biodiversity is on the agenda for world leaders at the One Planet Summit, which was being held by videoconference due to the coronavirus pandemic
6:06AM ( 20 minutes ago )
Indonesia navy divers hunt for crashed plane's black boxes
Indonesian navy divers are scouring the floor of the Java Sea as they hunt for the black boxes of a Sriwijaya Air jet that nosedived into the waters at high velocity with 62 people aboard
5:47AM ( 38 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Indonesia green-lights emergency use of Chinese vaccine
Indonesia's Food and Drug Authority has authorized emergency use of the COVID-19 vaccine produced by China-based Sinovac Biotech Ltd
4:24AM ( 2 hours ago )
China: WHO experts arriving Thursday for virus origins probe
China says a group of experts from the World Health Organization are due to arrive Thursday for an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic
4:08AM ( 2 hours ago )
N. Korea's Kim adds title: General secretary of ruling party
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been given the title of general secretary of the ruling Workers’ Party in what's seen as a symbolic move aimed at bolstering his authority
3:01AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP World News
Pelosi says House will impeach Trump, pushes VP to oust him
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the House will proceed with legislation to impeach President Donald Trump as she pushes the vice president to invoke constitutional authority to force him out
6:16AM ( 9 minutes ago )
Leaders at summit focus on better protecting biodiversity
Protecting the world’s biodiversity is on the agenda for world leaders at the One Planet Summit, which was being held by videoconference due to the coronavirus pandemic
6:06AM ( 20 minutes ago )
Indonesia navy divers hunt for crashed plane's black boxes
Indonesian navy divers are scouring the floor of the Java Sea as they hunt for the black boxes of a Sriwijaya Air jet that nosedived into the waters at high velocity with 62 people aboard
5:47AM ( 38 minutes ago )
Snow, and now ice, disrupt Spaniards' lives, vaccine rollout
The Spanish capital is trying to get back on its feet after a 50-year record snowfall that paralyzed large parts of central Spain over the weekend
4:50AM ( 1 hour ago )
Yemen's rebels defiant as aid agencies fear US terror label
Yemen's Iran-backed rebels are dismissing the Trump administration's move to designate their group a terrorist organization
4:48AM ( 1 hour ago )