Deacons

other than the fact that it would obviously create a slippery slope and would be seen as a major coup to radicals, and so is a majorly hugely bad idea, Is there any theological reason why women cannot be (perminent, obviously) decons? is there even a cannonical reason?

Diaconate=Sacrament of Holy Orders

Women may not receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

John Paul II reaffirmed this teaching in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis

The Church has no authority to ordain women.

Rome has spoken, the case is closed.

-ACEGC

[quote=Brain]other than the fact that it would obviously create a slippery slope and would be seen as a major coup to radicals, and so is a majorly hugely bad idea, Is there any theological reason why women cannot be (perminent, obviously) decons? is there even a cannonical reason?
[/quote]

do you mean DeAcons?

speaking of deacons -as a matter of fact the thought about me becoming a permanent deacon (God willing) i have been pondering for a couple of days now. is the rule you have to be 35 years of age and married for 10 years?

[quote=edward_george]Diaconate=Sacrament of Holy Orders

Women may not receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

John Paul II reaffirmed this teaching in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis

The Church has no authority to ordain women.

Rome has spoken, the case is closed.

-ACEGC
[/quote]

Not quite. The pope said that ordination to the priesthood was not possible for women. Rome has consistently said that the issue of ordaining women to the diaconate is open. There is historical evidence of women being ordained to the diaconate, although their role was not liturgical as was that of a man. Still, they were ordained inside the sacristy and received a stole. Blessings were conferred outside the sacristy and, generally, no stole was conferred.

Deacon Ed

this is out of curiosity not rhetoric. FYI.

edward, was OS for all orders or just priests?

[quote=edward_george]Diaconate=Sacrament of Holy Orders

Women may not receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

John Paul II reaffirmed this teaching in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis

The Church has no authority to ordain women.

Rome has spoken, the case is closed.

-ACEGC
[/quote]

You are wrong.

Ordinatio Sacerdotalis is the document that formally reserves the ordained priesthood and bishopric to men, and men only. This document does not discuss deacons.

Hopefully our current Pope will be able to issue a document like
Ordinatio Sacerdotalis for the question of women and the diaconate and answer the question once and for all.

[quote=Deacon Ed]Not quite. The pope said that ordination to the priesthood was not possible for women. Rome has consistently said that the issue of ordaining women to the diaconate is open. There is historical evidence of women being ordained to the diaconate, although their role was not liturgical as was that of a man. Still, they were ordained inside the sacristy and received a stole. Blessings were conferred outside the sacristy and, generally, no stole was conferred.

Deacon Ed
[/quote]

Actually that’s not true. While there were certainly deaconesses early on, there is a huge question of whether or not they were ordained…

[quote=mattrue]speaking of deacons -as a matter of fact the thought about me becoming a permanent deacon (God willing) i have been pondering for a couple of days now. is the rule you have to be 35 years of age and married for 10 years?
[/quote]

25 if single and you vow to live a celebite life. 35 if you are married. In my diocese it’s 5 years of marriage – I don’t think the Holy See has set a minumum when it comes to the length of one’s marriage.

I know a man who entered the formation after being married for a bit less than a year. By the time he is ordained though, he will have been married nearly 5 years…

Sorry about the confusion regarding OS…mea culpa…

-ACEGC

[quote=AltarMan]Actually that’s not true. While there were certainly deaconesses early on, there is a huge question of whether or not they were ordained…
[/quote]

Rome spoke about a year or so ago and said that historically speaking there is no evidence and that historical writings indicate that women were NOT Ordained as deaconesses in the sense of the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

[quote=AltarMan]Actually that’s not true. While there were certainly deaconesses early on, there is a huge question of whether or not they were ordained…
[/quote]

And not only that their role was totally different.

It seems that in today’s society there is a movement to remove gender specific terms/titles. For example, to day we have letter carriers instead of mailmen and mailwomen, we have fire fighters instead of firemen and firewomen (just a couple I am sure you can think of more yourself).

So today people have a hard time understanding that a deaconess is not a female deacon.

The role that deaconesses filled seems to be obsolete today except for in cloistered communities of women. They were there to assist the priest when he baptized adult women as it was done by full immersion in the nude so the deaconess held a cloth between the two and made sure nothing inappropriate occured. They also assisted the poor and in cloistered communities they assisted the priest.

The deaconesss was around before there were uncloistered nuns. These nuns filled the role of assisting the poor.

The “office” of deaconess was never big in the west if it even existed at all, even where it was a “big” thing it died out. There are many things in the Church that have died out or changed. Why the move to restore this one? I think the restoration of the deaconess will be a bad thing as it will give the impression that women can also be priestesses. I believe that they would push to be called female deacons (which they are not) and to even fulfill the role of a deacon at the Liturgy and the Sacraments (like baptism and marriage in the West) when the deaconess never did that in the past.

In certain Eastern churches, reader, cantors, acolytes are “ordained” or tonsured to the position. Now this term ordained is not the best word to use. Because they aren’t “ordained” with holy orders. It is more of a ceremony to confirm their role in the parish/church.
Therefore, possibly when we talk about women being ordained deacons in the past, we may be talking about women who are tonsured/have their role in the parish made whole… not ordained Deacons like Ed. Deacon Ed is really Ordained, that is he has received Holy Orders. An acolyte that is ordained to his position has not recieved holy orders. In the acolyte or reader case in the Eastern Churches it is a ceremony that affirms that person’s role with in the parish.
Hope that might clear things up a little.

[quote=AltarMan]Actually that’s not true. While there were certainly deaconesses early on, there is a huge question of whether or not they were ordained…
[/quote]

AltarMan, Everything we know of ordination in the Early Church says they were ordained. we have to remember, however, that ordination does not imply Holy Orders. Prior to Vatican II men were “ordained” as acolytes, lectors and porters. They did not, however, receive Holy Orders.

On the other hand, it appears that the women who were ordained “in the holy place” and who received a stole were, in fact, recipients of Holy Orders.

Deacon Ed

[quote=Deacon Ed]AltarMan, Everything we know of ordination in the Early Church says they were ordained. we have to remember, however, that ordination does not imply Holy Orders. Prior to Vatican II men were “ordained” as acolytes, lectors and porters. They did not, however, receive Holy Orders.

On the other hand, it appears that the women who were ordained “in the holy place” and who received a stole were, in fact, recipients of Holy Orders.

[/quote]

Father Deacon Ed,
Normally I agree with everything you say but here I must say that I disagree with you.

The first part, about acolytes, lectors, and porters is spot on, contrary to what mgy100, even the Latin Church made use of these “orders” up until Vatican II as you said but then you go off.

I have not seen any compelling evidence nor any great agreement that deaconesses were recipients of Holy Orders. Can you explain this a bit more and explain how a woman can be a recipient of Holy Orders yet be deined Holy Orders as the Catholic Church Teaches. Seems to be a disconnect here.

I also see that there has been no comment that a deaconess is not the same thing as a female deacon. I think that is the most important thing we need to keep in mind.

[quote=Br. Rich SFO]Rome spoke about a year or so ago and said that historically speaking there is no evidence and that historical writings indicate that women were NOT Ordained as deaconesses in the sense of the Sacrament of Holy Orders.
[/quote]

There is certainly evidence of deaconesses, but whether they were ordained or not is seriously in doubt – the study found no evidence they were ordained. Even with the study, there has been no statement like Ordinatio Sacerdotalis for this specific topic. I hope the current Pope remedies this situation…

Altarman, did you even read my post?

[quote=Deacon Ed]AltarMan, Everything we know of ordination in the Early Church says they were ordained. we have to remember, however, that ordination does not imply Holy Orders. Prior to Vatican II men were “ordained” as acolytes, lectors and porters. They did not, however, receive Holy Orders.

On the other hand, it appears that the women who were ordained “in the holy place” and who received a stole were, in fact, recipients of Holy Orders.

Deacon Ed
[/quote]

You are wrong. This appears to be a case of semantics and little else. From Matthew Bunson of EWTN:

*"There has been some discussion in recent years among scholars as to the presence of deaconesses in the early centuries of the Church. St. Paul, for example, mentioned the deaconess Phoebe at Cenchreae (Rom. 16). However, after extensive study, the International Theological Commission in 2002 concluded that **the role of women deacons in the early Church should not be viewed as being equivalent to that of ordained male deacons. **Further, the commission concluded that the permanent diaconate belongs to the sacrament of orders and thus is limited to men only.

The commission recognized that deaconesses had the responsibility during the early Church serving as a bridge or connection between women laity and the local church authorities. They did not take part in liturgical ministry, as did their male counterparts. Additionally, while deaconesses were ordained (sometimes with the imposition of hands), the practice was used with other nonclerics who served the church and was banned by one church council in the 6th century." *

I think “ordained” is misused when it comes to the deaconesses of the past. If it dosen’t lead to Holy Orders then it can hardly be compared to the ordination we know today.

holy moly! i just realize I misspelled deacon in the thread title! Could i get a mod to fix it?

Well, Deacons, unlike priests…do not confer sacraments.

They do not act in Persona Christi, so perhaps women could be deaconesses ordained to the first grade of Holy Orders. This would allow them to recieve the permanent character and graces of the sacraments for their immortal soul, without giving them the public power they cannot have symbolically.

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