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Catholic Church to look into female deacons

by Hannah Tooley

A group has been set up, after the pope gave his blessing in May.

Speaking at the time, he told the BBC: "It would be useful for the Church to clarify this question. I agree.'"

Some conservative Catholics have opposed the appointment of females in the past.

According to the BBC, a special commission of seven men and six women will study the issue.

Together, they will look into the role women have played in the Church throughout history.

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Deacons hold a rank lower than priests.

In the Catholic Church, deacons are ordained ministers that have the opportunity to preach and preside over weddings and funerals.

They are not authorised to celebrate Mass.

Some Catholics say women need to be better-represented in the Church and female deacons would give women more of a voice in decision-making.

The Vatican has made clear that the pope was not looking into the possibility of ordaining women priests.

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