It's only been 2000 years... How can we be sure women are equal to men at this point?? http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...l-commission-examine-role-female-deacons.html Is the Catholic Church about to have FEMALE deacons? Pope Francis appoints a historic commission to explore women joining the clergy A 13-member commission will study the the role of female deacons Women performed the role in the early centuries of Christianity Francis said in May that he was unclear about the history He said it 'would do good for the Church to clarify this point' Nuns are not members of the clergy because they are not religious leaders By AFP Pope Francis has appointed a special commission to examine the role of female deacons in the Church, in a potentially historic opening on the possibility of women joining the clergy. The 13-member commission, made up of seven men and six women, will study the question of female deacons with a particular focus on the history of women having played this role in the early years of the Church, the Vatican said in a statement on Tuesday. The move follows a pledge made by Francis in May during a question-and-answer session with members of female religious orders. Pope Francis has appointed a special commission to examine the role of female deacons in the Church Advocates of women serving as deacons have long argued that they are pitifully under-represented in the Church's hierarchy and decision-making processes. Allowing women to enter the clergy at a rank just below a priest would represent a first step towards correcting this imbalance, they argue. They also insist there is no theological obstacle to the move because of the precedent established by women performing the role in the early centuries of Christianity. Pope Francis speaks with a female reporter on board a flight from Krakow, Poland, to Rome, at the end of his 5-day trip to southern Poland Pope Francis greet faithfuls as he arrives to celebrates a Holy Mass on the meadows in Brzegi, Poland, on Sunday Francis said in May that he was unclear about the history and that it 'would do good for the Church to clarify this point.' He made it clear however that he did not see women becoming priests, an option that was categorically rejected by one of his predecessors, Pope John Paul II, following a 1994 study. The Vatican did not set a date for the commission to begin work or a deadline for it to reach conclusions. It is a common misconception that nuns are members of the clergy. In fact, they inhabit the lowest rung of the hierarchy in the Catholic Church and are not considered members of the clergy. Pope Francis speaks with nuns during a visit at the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy in Krakow. Nuns are not members of the clergy The Bishop of Stockport Libby Lane (right) emerges from the West Door of York Minster with the Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu after her consecration service at York Minster on January 26, 2015 They are called 'consecrated religious' because of their vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Clergy are the leaders of a religion and it is their duty to perform religious services. Many religious groups do already ordain women as clergy, for example many Buddhist, Methodist and Baptist churches. However, Jewish Orthodox, Muslim, Mormon and the Roman Catholic Church generally do not. In 2015, Libby Lane became the first female bishop of the Church of England after its General Synod voted to allow women to become bishops in July 2014. Right Reverend Lane told The Independent in an interview this year: 'When I was growing up it wasn’t possible for women to be ordained as priests, never mind bishops. It wasn’t part of my expectations. 'One of the most moving things about this extraordinary year is how ordinary it has been.'