Meeting in Rome Oct. 6-26, more than 250 Roman Catholic bishops suggested to Pope Benedict XVI that women be allowed to serve as “lectors” who could “announce” the word of God in parishes.
Centuries ago the order of “lectors”—men who read the Bible during liturgies—was a first step toward priesthood.
Some theologians, including Italian Maria Caterina Jacobelli, said the phrase “announcers of the word” implies preaching of the gospel.
Jacobelli told Ecumenical News International that the proposition was “a pathetic attempt to solve a contradiction in a church that does not want to give equal responsibility in ministries to men and women.”
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