Study: US religious orders overwhelmingly back women deacons

August 02, 2018 - 12:21 pm

VATICAN CITY (AP) — A new survey has found that the majority of U.S. Catholic religious orders believe women should be allowed to serve as ordained deacons in the church, lending support to an issue that is being studied at the Vatican amid pressure for women to be given greater roles in the church.

Deacons are ordained ministers but are not priests, though they can perform many of the same functions as priests. They preside at weddings, baptisms and funerals, and they can preach. They cannot, however, celebrate Mass.

According to the study released Thursday by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University, 77 percent of both male and female superiors in the U.S. believe such ordination is theoretically possible, and 72 percent think the church should authorize it.

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