A group which represents more than 1,000 Irish priests has said Pope Francis’ comments about the status of women deacons is a “major disappointment”.
The reaction comes after the Pope revealed that the 2016 commission he appointed to study women deacons in the early Church could not reach a consensus on whether female ordination was the same as its male counterpart. “We had come to expect reactions like this from previous Popes, but we thought Francis was different, and consequently our disappointment is greater,” the Association of Catholic Priests said in response to the Pope’s comments.
“The equality of women is critical for the credibility and the future of the Church. Introducing women deacons is such a minimalist step that if he cannot move on that, there is little or no prospect of any real movement towards equality.”
The group added that the Pontiff’s remarks on female deacons “confirms that women are not good enough” and that in the eyes of the official Church, “men are more worthy than women”.
“It confirms that the Church continues to be a clerical hierarchical patriarchy. It confirms that injustice is built into the heart of the Church. This is an enormous blow to reforming the Church and bringing it into the 21st Century.”