BRIEF: Pope: yes to women leading Mass, no to priesthood

Catholic women can officially read the Bible at Mass, serve at the altar and distribute communion. This has already been happening in churches for years, but wasn’t formally allowed until Pope Francis changed the Church’s rules this week, The New York Times reported.

It’s another positive sign for Catholics from a Pope many consider to be the most progressive in the Church’s history. Pope Francis has already said that the church should not reject homosexuals (although they can’t get married). In small ways, he’s bringing the Catholic Church up to speed with the human rights norms of the 21st century. Many have said the latest move is not enough, and that the Church still discriminates against women (who still aren’t allowed to be Catholic priests). But in the context of a Church with a centuries-old tradition of excluding women from religious life, it is progress. 

This brief was originally published in The Wrap here.