By Watchdog reporter

Women could finally be ordained in the Catholic Church!

Pope Francis has set up a special commission to study whether women can be allowed to become deacons.

The controversial issue has historically troubled the Catholic Church, with emotional opposition to the move.

Now Pope Francis has commissioned seven men and six women to study the matter. They will start with looking into the historical role of women in the early years of the Church.

Deacons are a clergy rank, just below priesthood.

BBC reports that deacons are ordained ministers who can preach or preside over weddings and funerals, but cannot celebrate Mass.

Supporters say women are poorly represented within the Church and that appointing female deacons would give women greater sway in decision-making.

The Pope first remarked in May that he was willing to set up a commission to study the issue.

He had told senior members of women’s religious orders he was open to the issue of considering female deacons: “It would be useful for the Church to clarify this question. I agree.'”

Currently all Catholic priests and deacons are male. Priests must be celibate, but deacons can be married men.