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Pope institutes commission to study the diaconate of women

(Vatican Radio) In the course of a dialogue during a meeting with the participants in the Plenary Assembly of Superiors General, which took place in May, Pope Francis expressed his intention to “establish an official commission that could study the question” of the diaconate of women, “especially with regard to the first ages of the Church.”

After intense prayer and mature reflection, Pope Francis has decided to institute the Commission for the Study of the Diaconate of Women. As president of the Commission, Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, SJ. In addition to Archbishop Ladaria, the commission is composed of six women and six men from academic institutions around the world.

Below, please find the complete list of the members of the Commission for the Study of the Diaconate of Women:

Doctrinal text looks at increasing harmony among church groups

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Local bishops have an obligation to welcome new movements and communities and guide them, while the groups have an obligation to obey the local bishop and avoid the appearance of setting up a parallel church, said a new Vatican document.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's letter to bishops around the world on "the relationship between hierarchical and charismatic gifts in the life and mission of the church" was released June 14.

The hierarchical gifts -- teaching, sanctifying and governing -- are those conferred with ordination. The charismatic gifts refer to those given by the Holy Spirit to groups or individuals to help them live the faith more intensely and to share the faith with others through missionary activity and acts of charity.

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Commemoration of St. Mary Magdalene raised to a Feast

(Vatican Radio)  It was announced on Friday Pope Francis has decided to raise the celebration of the memorial of St. Mary Magdalene to the dignity of a liturgical Feast.

In the modern Church calendar, saints may be commemorated with a memorial (optional or obligatory), feast, or solemnity.

The decree was signed on 3 June 2016, the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart.  

In a letter announcing the change, the Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Arthur Roche, writes the decision means one “should reflect more deeply on the dignity of women, the New Evangelization, and the greatness of the mystery of Divine Mercy.”

Archbishop Roche drew attention to the fact Mary Magdalene was the first witness to the Resurrection, and is the one who announced the event to the Apostles.

“Saint Mary Magdalene is an example of true and authentic evangelization; she is an evangelist who announces the joyful central message of Easter,” he writes.