Women can read at Mass, but still can’t be priests: Pope

Rome: Pope Francis changed church law to explicitly allow women to do more things during mass while continuing to affirm that they cannot be priests.

In a step towards greater equality for women in the Roman Catholic Church, the Pope has changed church law.

Francis amended the law to formalise what is common practice in many parts of the world: that women can read the Gospel and serve on the altar as eucharistic ministers.

Francis said he was making the change to increase recognition of the “precious contribution” women make in the church while emphasizing that all baptized Catholics have a role to play in the church’s mission.

But he also noted that doing so further makes a distinction between “ordained” ministries such as the priesthood and diaconate, and ministries open to qualified laity. The Vatican reserves the priesthood for men.

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