The Catholics are about to witness a change in its principle as Pope Francis has changed church law to explicitly allow women to do more things in the church during Mass, while reaffirming that they cannot be priests.
The amended law will allow women to read the Gospel and serve on the altar as eucharistic ministers which were roles previously assigned to men by the church.
The law is in conformity with common practice in many parts of the world, and the Pope has said that he was making the change to increase recognition of the precious contribution women make in the church.
He emphasized that all baptized Catholics have a role to play in the church’s mission, and noted that doing so further makes a distinction between ordained ministries such as the priesthood, and non- ordained ministries, as the Vatican reserves the priesthood for men.
There are indications that the change may be as a result of mounted pressure on the Pope to allow women to be deacons, ordained ministries, that will perform similar functions of priests at functions.
It was gathered that Francis has created a second experts commission to study if women could be deacons, after the failure of the first one to reach a consensus.
Members of the church have gathered support for the change claiming that it would give women greater say in the ministry and governance of the church, while also helping address priest shortages in several parts of the world.
Meanwhile, some members are of the opinion that allowing it would become a slippery slope toward ordaining women to the priesthood.