By Lindsay Isaac
PHILADELPHIA (CNN) -- Pope Francis has created a commission to study the historical role of female deacons in the Catholic Church, the Vatican's press office said.
The commission was initially promised by the Pope after a meeting with a group of nuns on May 12.
"In the course of a dialogue during a meeting with the participants in the Plenary Assembly of Superiors General, 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," the statement said.
As president of the commission, Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, S.J. In addition to Archbishop Ladaria, the commission is composed of six women and six men from academic institutions around the world.
The-CNN-Wire ™ & © 2016 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.
for more features.