Three fourths of Facebook readers say they would oppose moves to open up the diaconate to women. While Pope Francis is reportedly considering the idea of allowing women to become permanent deacons only 25% of readers in a poll on the IC Facebook page said they would agree.
Permanent male deacons are now a feature of many Irish dioceses with men – often married with families – preaching, baptising children, officiating at weddings and burying the dead.
The issue of female deacons has been on the agenda since the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) restored the ancient ministry for men.
However, successive studies by the Vatican and theological commissions have been unable to come to a conclusion about the role of women in the diaconate in the early Church.