(Vatican Radio) A member of the newly-established commission set up by Pope Francis to study the question of the Diaconate for women spoke of her delight over the Pope's move. Dr Phyllis Zagano, who teaches at Hofstra University in Hampstead, New York, is one of the six female members of the Commission whose formation was announced on Tuesday. She is the author of some 20 books on religious studies including several on the issue of the Diaconate for women. Dr Zagano spoke to Susy Hodges about her reaction to her appointment and explained why she believes setting up this Commission is such an important and positive move on the part of the Pope.
Pope Francis had first announced in May his intention to set up such a commission to study the question of the Diaconate for women during the course of a meeting with the Superior Generals of female religious orders.
Deacons are ordained ministers who can preach and preside at weddings, baptisms and funerals but unlike priests cannot celebrate Mass.
Describing herself as “honoured” to have been named as a member of this Commission, Dr Zagano said she hopes it will lead to deciding that women should be included in the office of the Deacon. She also believes such a move will enable the Catholic Church “to speak more forcefully to the world about the dignity and place of women, not only in the Church but also in society.”
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