Pope ally sees Church 'split in two' over female deacons
Pope Francis’s signal that he is open to the possibility of allowing women to enter the Catholic clergy as deacons trigger debate
Pope Francis’s signal that he is open to the possibility of allowing women to enter the Catholic clergy as deacons will trigger fierce debate and deep division in the Church, one of his closest allies was quoted as saying Friday.
“There is going to be a fierce debate, I think. On this issue, the Church is split down the middle,” German Cardinal Walter Kasper said in an interview with Italy’s La Repubblica.
Kasper’s comments came a day after Francis said he would set up a commission to study the possibility of having women serving as deacons, ordained members of the clergy who can carry out many of the duties of priests.
Kasper, one of the most influential liberal voices in Catholicism, said Francis wanted the issues aired after years of demands for women to have a greater role in the Church hierarchy.
“I personally don’t have a clear position but I am always open to and ready for innovation,” Kasper said, adding it was impossible to predict the outcome of the review.
“If you look at what has happened in the past, it would lead you to say no (to female deacons). But anything is possible.”
Kasper said opponents of allowing women to become deacons would inevitably argue that it would be opening the door to having female priests, which Francis has indicated is not up for discussion.
“The diaconate is a rank of holy orders... it is obvious that granting it to women may be seen as a major risk by those who do not want women priests,” the cardinal said.
Pope Francis offers Easter message of hopeFrancis is expected to offer a message of hope following his bleak condemnations on Good Friday and earlier of the attacks in Brussels News
Pope Francis takes Instagram by storm after posting first picturePope Francis posted his first photo on Instagram on Saturday, a picture showing him kneeling down praying, on the third anniversary of his ... Variety
Pope Francis questions Trump’s Christian faithRepublican White House hopeful Donald Trump cannot claim to be a Christian, Pope Francis said Thursday Variety
Key points of the historic Pope Francis, Patriarch Kirill meetingPope Francis and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill held the first meeting in nearly a millennium between heads of their two branches of the Christian church World News
Pope Francis ends Africa trip with mosque visitHealing rifts between Christian and Muslim communities has been a theme throughout Francis’ first visit to the continent North Africa
Pope Francis urges Kenyans to work for peacePope urges Kenyans to work for peace amid extremist threat, brushes off security concerns Features
Vatican denies Italian report Pope Francis has brain tumorThe newspaper Quotidiano Nazionale reported that a Japanese doctor and his team had secretly flown from Tuscany to the Vatican to examine the pope World News
Pope Francis, not a politician, deserves the Nobel Peace Prize“A little bit of mercy makes the world less cold and more just.” Pope Francis, March 17, 2013 In a world where politicians are inciting ... World