Catholic sisters could be of greater service to the church in various parts of the world were they able to "go a step further" and be ordained as deacons, says Sr. Carmen Sammut, president of the International Union of Superiors General, the global network of some 500,000 Catholic women religious.
NCR collected reactions to Pope Francis' announcement May 12 to create a commission to examine the history of female deacons in the Catholic church.
As part of the triennial UISG assembly this week in Rome, the leaders of the world's women religious met with Pope Francis May 12; they asked him four major questions about the role of women in the global Catholic church. In response, he said he would create a commission to study the possibility of women deacons.
"Carrying out our ministry with the poor and the marginalized, we are often erroneously considered as social activists or as if we are taking political positions. . . ."
The global umbrella group for the leaders of the world's Catholic women religious has created a new advisory council of five female canon lawyers to offer expertise on church law to sisters' communities worldwide.
"The future of religious life will be decided on the peripheries where Christ is in agony," said Sr. Mary Sujita in a plenary address to a triennial meeting of the UISG. "It will not be decided on the number of sisters we have. Let us be clear on this."
The leaders of the world's communities of Catholic women religious were warned against accepting an "entitlement creep" that numbs them from confronting poverty and environmental destruction, at the opening session of a triennial gathering here.
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