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Letter from Rome: A growing chorus for rethinking ministries

A female theologian and a Catholic archbishop add their voices to calls for change

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Letter from Rome: A growing chorus for rethinking ministries
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"We need to revisit the issue of ministries in the Church." That's a quote from French biblical scholar Anne-Marie Pelletier, a Catholic laywoman that Pope Francis appointed some months ago to the Vatican's new Study Commission on the Female Diaconate.

Hers is just the most recent voice in a growing chorus challenging the current Catholic leadership to engage the whole Church in better discerning the Holy Spirit's gifts among the members of God's household.

The 74-year-old Paris native and mother of four said the Church needed to be more creative about how it commissions or ordains people, both men and women, for ministry.

Her point was that being an ordained deacon or presbyter is not — or, at least, should not be — the only form of legitimately recognized and officially commissioned ministry in the Church.

Pelletier, who won the Ratzinger Prize for Theology in 2014, said more must be done to make this a reality.

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