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Pope Francis revised the canon law on Monday to formally allow women to serve as readers in liturgical and altar services. This amendment clearly states that these roles are separate from all-male clergy.
Canon law officially recognizes what has happened in many churches around the world where women play these layman roles. However, by introducing
It is impossible for conservative pastors to prevent women from assuming these roles.
The decree states: "The choice to choose women to hold these positions involves stability, public recognition and the power of the bishop, which enables everyone to participate in evangelism more effectively in the church," the decree states.
Francis changed the church law on his own, which is the official request of the church leader
Phyllis Zagano, a professor of religion at Hofstra University in New York, said: "I think this is important because it is arguing about the equality of women."
"This shows that the church is legitimizing the content of its preaching, which means that women are created in the image of God."
In the decree called the "Holy Spirit," the pope stated that he made the decision after theological reflection.
He said that many bishops from all over the world have said that this change is necessary to respond to "the needs of the times."
To send a signal to women in the world who still formally consider chattels, endangered and considered unclean, that they are also human and that they can approach the sacred.
Rachel Elbaum is an editor, producer and writer based in London.
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