The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Pope Francis discussed the possibility of women deacons. Which other religions have female clergy?

Former Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori was the first woman elected to head a national branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion. (Courtesy of The Episcopal Church via RNS)

Pope Francis said on Thursday that he would support a study of the historical role of women as deacons, a member of the clergy in the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is far from the only group that currently bans women from serving as clergy — in fact, in the United States, just 11 percent of religious congregations are led by a female clergy member, according to the 2012 National Congregations Study.

The Catholic Church is the largest denomination in America, with just over 20 percent of Americans identifying as Catholic. Across many of the country’s other most-practiced religions, stances on women as leaders vary widely. The largest mainline Protestant denominations generally ordain female clergy; the largest evangelical denominations generally do not.

Most of this data comes from the Pew Research Center. All of these are generalizations — in almost every denomination, some churches differ.

Christian denominations

Southern Baptist Convention (evangelical, 5 percent of Americans): no

United Methodist Church (mainline Protestant, 3.6 percent): yes

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon, 1.6 percent): no

American Baptist Churches (mainline Protestant, 1.5 percent): yes

National Baptist Convention (historically black Protestant, 1.4 percent): yes

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (mainline Protestant, 1.4 percent): yes

Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod (evangelical, 1.1 percent): no

Episcopal Church (mainline Protestant, 0.9 percent): yes

Presbyterian Church USA (mainline Protestant, 0.9 percent): yes

Presbyterian Church in America (evangelical, 0.4 percent): no

Other religions

Jewish (1.9 percent): The Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist denominations ordain female clergy; Orthodox Jews largely do not.

Muslim (0.9 percent): no

Buddhist (0.7 percent): yes

Want more stories about faith? Follow Acts of Faith on Twitter or sign up for our newsletter.

Virginia congressman’s bill would make it illegal for Donald Trump to ban Muslim immigrants

The Archdiocese of Baltimore has posted a list of 71 priests accused of abusing children

I accidentally hired an Orthodox rabbi to perform my father’s funeral — and he was great

Loading...