Catholic Church split on women as deacons: Vatican

The Vatican has revealed that the global Catholic Church is split on the idea of women serving as deacons, even though Pope Francis made it clear that he was against it a couple of months back.

The working document, known as "Instrumentum laboris," was released on Tuesday by the Vatican and will be discussed at a final session of the Church's synod in October, Reuters reports. "While some local Churches call for women to be admitted to the diaconal ministry, others reiterate their opposition," it stated. It did however, state that the Church needs to "give fuller recognition" to women in its ranks because "by virtue of Baptism, they enjoy full equality."

While the document made note of the issue of women as deacons, it said it would not be an agenda item in the October meeting. "Theological reflection (on the issue) should continue, on an appropriate timescale and in the appropriate ways," it stated.

Pope Francis had simply replied "no" in a "60 minutes" interview that aired in May when he was asked if he would be open to women as deacons. "Women are of great service as women, not as ministers," he added.

When asked about Francis' statement, Cardinal Mario Grech, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, told a press conference that "As of now, it is a 'no' (to women deacons), but at the same time the Holy Father has said that the theological reflection and study must continue. For me this is not a contradiction."

Other issues the document made note of are "the theological and pastoral implications of polygamy for the Church in Africa" and inclusivity.

Image: Title: Pope Francis