A SURVEY of catholic opinion show a clear majority believe that the diaconate should be open to women and men.
The survey was carried out by the lay reform group We Are Church Ireland (WACI).
In the poll of nearly 500 men and women, 84pc said they believed women should be deacons. Just 13pc were opposed and 3pc were undecided.
Some 79pc of respondents were aware that women deacons were common in the first 1,000 years of Christianity.
Responding to the poll findings, Brendan Butler of WACI urged the Irish bishops to call a national assembly of all the faithful to discuss the position of women in the church.
His call was backed by Kathleen McDonnell of Seeds of Hope, the group of women in the Diocese of Killaloe who successfully campaigned to have the introduction of the permanent diaconate postponed.
Sarah MacDonald; Irish Independent; 29 October 2014