VATICAN CITY (RNS) Several progressive Catholic groups are launching an initiative aimed at giving lay Catholics and clergy across the U.S. a direct say on whether the church should ordain women deacons.
Their actions follow the appointment of a panel of experts set up by Pope Francis to consider the controversial question.
“Pope Francis wants to hear the voice of the faithful,” the Rev. Bob Bonnot, head of U.S. priest group, told RNS. “The church is not a clerical monopoly.”
Deacons are one of the three “orders” of ordained ministry in the church, after bishops and priests, and can fulfill some but not all of the duties of priests, including preaching, conducting baptisms and serving Holy Communion.
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