The new Bishop of Innsbruck, Hermann Glettler, has said he supports the ordination of women to the diaconate, and is open to giving Communion to the divorced and remarried.
ORF reports that Bishop Glettler said he would be “clearly for” admitting women to the diaconate.
Last year, Pope Francis set up a committee to study the issue of women deacons, and their role in the early Church. The Pope said that while his understanding was that the women described as deacons in the New Testament were not ordained as male deacons are today, “it would be useful for the Church to clarify this question.”
However, Bishop Glettler said it would give him great joy if the committee “arrived at the finishing line relatively soon and the decision was positive”.
He also said that the idea that woman may one day be priests is “not so utopian”. However, change will come in “steps”, such as ordination to the diaconate.
When asked if he was open to allowing divorced and remarried people to receive Communion, he responded “very”.
Giving Communion to those who marriages have failed and are now in new relationships is “very, very much based on the Gospel,” he said.
It is a matter of “accompanying, distinguishing, and then leaving open whether someone says, ‘I will deliberately go to Communion or I will deliberation forego this’, based on specific inner motives,” the bishop said.