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Pope Says Women Can Read At Mass, But Still Can’t Be Priests

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FILE - In this file photo dated Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, Pope Francis holds his pastoral staff as he arrives to celebrate Mass, at St. Peter's Basilica. Pope Francis has changed church law to explicitly allow women to do more things during Mass, Monday Jan. 11, 2021, while reaffirming they cannot be priests. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia, FILE)

(AP) — Pope Francis has changed church law to explicitly allow women to do more things during Mass, granting them access to the altar, while reaffirming they cannot be priests.

Francis amended the law to formalize what is common practice in many parts of the world: that women can read Scripture and serve on the altar as eucharistic ministers. Previously, such roles were officially reserved to men even though exceptions were made.

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.

 

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