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Pope Francis mulls opening door to female deacons in Church

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Pope Francis said Thursday he is prepared to set up a commission to study the possibility of women entering the Catholic clergy at the rank of deacon, one below a priest.

Francis made the remarks in exchanges with female members of religious orders during a meeting at the Vatican, according to reporters who were present.

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His spokesman said he could not immediately confirm the pontiff’s exact remarks, which could have far-reaching implications.

In the exchanges, Francis said he had discussed the use of female deacons in the early centuries of the church but was not clear as to their exact role and status.

“Constitute an official commission that might study the question?” the pontiff asked aloud, according to the National Catholic Reporter and Italian news agencies.

“I believe yes. It would do good for the church to clarify this point. I am in agreement. I will speak (in favour of doing) something like this.”

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He later added: “It seems useful to me to have a commission that would clarify this.”

Although deacons cannot celebrate mass they are ordained and can carry out many tasks in place of a priest, including presiding over baptisms and prayer services. They also often play a role in parish management and in offering pastoral guidance to believers.

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Church historians say women played this role in the first centuries of the Church, but the practice died out and calls for women to be allowed to become priests were categorically rejected by Pope John Paul II in 1994.

Francis’s remarks appeared to have caught Vatican officials off-guard. “I cannot confirm anything, until the full transcript of the conversation is published,” his spokesman said. “These were off-the-cuff remarks.”

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Trump goes berserk on Twitter as he lashes out at his own Fed chair and then attacks ‘selfish’ Democrats

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President Donald Trump just declared war on the man he personally picked to head the Federal Reserve. The President is furious that one in three economists are predicting recession by the end of the year, and many believe the U.S. will plunge into a recession within the next 6 to 12 months.

At the top of the list of causes for the Trump recession is the president’s trade war with China, which he said a year ago was easy to win.

When a country (USA) is losing many billions of dollars on trade with virtually every country it does business with, trade wars are good, and easy to win. Example, when we are down $100 billion with a certain country and they get cute, don’t trade anymore-we win big. It’s easy!

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Humanitarian volunteer says he won’t be deterred after facing charges in Arizona for helping migrants

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We broadcast live from Tucson, Arizona, where the government recently put humanitarian activist Scott Warren on trial amid the ongoing policing of the U.S.-Mexico border, separation of families, and cruel and inhumane conditions at immigrant jails across the country. Warren, a longtime volunteer with the humanitarian aid group No More Deaths, was charged with three felony counts for his alleged crime of providing food, water and shelter to migrants in Ajo, Arizona. The immigrants had arrived at the doorstep of a humanitarian shelter after a perilous journey across the Sonoran Desert. At the same time, he and other volunteers also faced separate misdemeanor charges for leaving water jugs and food for migrants on a national wildlife refuge in the remote desert. The trial took eight days, and after hours of deliberation, the jury returned without a verdict. Eight found Scott Warren not guilty; the remaining four said he was. The government will now retry Warren in November. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison. As he awaits his next trial, Scott Warren met us in the remote town of Ajo, Arizona, this weekend for his first trip in a year to leave water and food for migrants in the desert.

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Trump’s economic adviser doesn’t see a recession coming — but he said the same thing in 2008

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President Donald Trump's chief economic adviser insists there are no signs of a recession on the horizon -- but he's been staggeringly wrong before.

Larry Kudlow went on NBC's "Meet the Press" over the weekend to assure viewers that no economic downturn was coming, but the Washington Post's Aaron Blake pointed out that his track record for predictions was pitiful.

“Well, I’ll tell you what: I sure don’t see a recession,” Kudlow told host Chuck Todd. “So I think actually the second half, the economy’s going to be very good in 2019.”

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