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At St. Pius X Catholic Church, top official is a woman

At St. Pius X Catholic Church, top official is a woman

On a typical day at St. Pius X Roman Catholic Church in Rodgers Forge, you might find Carol Pacione counseling a young couple, haggling with a contractor, working on a capital campaign or arranging flowers in the nave.

As the senior official of a parish that doesn't have a full-time priest, Pacione, 63, fulfills many of the functions of a pastor.

In a church that doesn't ordain women, she's a pastoral life director — one of a small number of lay leaders who enjoy all the powers and responsibilities of a traditional parish priest, except for the ability to perform the sacraments.

It's a role that has helped the Catholic Church cope with a decades-long decline in...

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