Washington D.C., Aug 4, 2018 / 17:41 pm
A survey of both male and female religious superiors in the U.S. found that most believe that the Church can and should ordain women as deacons.
Almost three-quarters of responding superiors said they think it is possible to sacramentally ordain women deacons, and that the Church should do so. Only 45 percent, however, believe the Church will do so.
The survey, released this week by The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University (CARA), reached out to all 777 U.S. religious institutes and societies of apostolic life. These included members of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM), the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious (CMSWR), and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), as well as 137 contemplative women's groups.
Only men may be ordained priests under Catholic teaching. Pope Francis has reiterated on numerous occasions that this doctrine is definitive and cannot be changed. However, non-ordained female deacons were part of the early Church, although it is not entirely clear what their role was.