Former president Mary McAleese has called on the Catholic Church to allow woman to become deacons.
McAleese said it would be a breakthrough, a breach in the bunker of “really embedded misogyny” which goes very deep in the church.
Permanent deacons are ordained men who have no intention of becoming priests.
They can be married and have secular jobs to support their families. They support local priests by visiting the sick, teaching the faith, counselling couples and giving advice to the pastor.
They can baptize, witness marriages and perform funeral and burial services outside of saying Mass. They can also distribute communion and preach the homily.