Pope Francis waves to the faithful as he arrives in St. Peter's Square for his weekly audience in Vatican City on May 4, 2016.
Franco Origlia—Getty Images
By Kirsten Salyer
May 12, 2016
Kirsten Salyer is a writer and the former Deputy Editor of TIME Ideas

Pope Francis said Thursday that he’s open to the idea of creating a commission to study whether women could train to become deacons, or ordained ministers, in the Catholic Church. In response to the pope’s willingness to consider the change, Sister Simone Campbell, the executive director of NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, told TIME:

This move is another example of Pope Francis’s vision of an inclusive society – a society that celebrates and takes full advantage of the unique talents and strengths of each and every one of us – the 100 percent. Inclusiveness is strength. There is no one from the outside looking in, and no one inside, plotting and scheming to keep others out. It is everyone working together for a common good. There will always be some who resist this, in politics, in churches, in any institution. There will always be – as we have seen in this presidential race – those who use what divides us as a way to build power. Pope Francis knows better. Should this change come to pass it will make the church stronger, just as any move to bring us all together in common purpose makes us our nation stronger.

Contact us at editors@time.com.


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