POLL: Which is more likely: Women Deacons OR Women Cardinals?


That women deacons or women cardinals are a possibility in the Catholic Church is admitted in even orthodox circles. The priesthood is closed to them, but depending on how you nuance it, women could potentially be deacons or cardinals:

(1) Women Deacons: Two possibilities: (A) Non-ordained “Deaconess” may not be an ordained role on par with the ordained deacon of Holy Orders, yet the early church had some sense of women deacons. (B) Ordained Deaconess is less likely, but even the ordained deacon of Holy Orders is not a priest. So the reasons are not theologically the same, if women are to be closed off from the permanent diaconate.

(2) Women Cardinals: The basis of women cardinals comes from the reality that Cardinals are not inherently ordained, though that is a modern requirement. In the past, they could be lay. The essential reason role of a Cardinal, as a lay person, would be to be an advisor to the Pope.

Vote below:

  • Woman Deacon/“Deaconess”
  • Woman Cardinal
  • Both equally likely
  • Both highly unlikely

0 voters


I am unsure how to vote.

For on the one hand, deaconess has SOME precedent in the Church’s history, even if not ordained.

And yet, while Cardinal seems like a lofty title on par with bishops, etc., it really amounts to the need for lay people to be involved in decision making, or being advisors.

So my first impulse would be to say Women Deacons are more likely. But in a way, I could also see Women Cardinals being more likely, because there is no controversy regarding ordination. Hmmm…


The Church needs to get with the times and get some female Cardinals.


The Church does not “get with the times”. She cannot, and will not ever ordain women into the priesthood or deaconate. I’m unsure about female Cardinals, but I stil think it’s unlikely.


I guess she’s all caught up then.


I’m not sure if either are really likely, but since the Church is already looking at the possibility of having deaconesses, that seems more likely. Then again, I’m unsure if there’s notable work in the Vatican being done to consider female Cardinals.

What does the times have to do with what the Church should do?


The World is supposed to be at odds with the Holy Church so it kind of makes sense that She should not submit to its designs.


I didn’t think that having women participate in making executive decisions was considered “worldly” by Catholics.


It is mostly seculars who promote it and the rebellious Catholics are hardly better.


You can’t base truth off of the zeitgeist of today. If that were the case, the Church should also ordain transgendered persons, allow abortions in all cases, and permit euthanasia.


The Church doesn’t need to get with the times, she is already for all times.


Over time new things are learned, certainly you wouldn’t deny that. For example, the Church now realizes that pedephiles cannot be rehabilitated with therapy and reintroduced to mingle with children. That is a relatively new example of the Church “getting with the times”.

The Church has yet to acknowledge by example that females can make important executive decisions.


I don’t see it happening, nor do I see it as necessary. One does not need to be a deacon or cardinal to be a saint and to serve the church for the better.


Wow, thanks for making your position clear.


Being rebellious isn’t a good trait and is contrary to the virtues that Christ laid out as a model.


Another wow. Females = zeitgeist of the day. Wow


Your example includes the gaining of scientific knowledge, but I’m not sure how any new scientific knowledge gives us insight to now having female Cardinals. Were there outdated scientific studies cited as the reason to not have them however many years ago?


Yes, it also includes pedephiles. The point is that every entity worth it’s salt has had women in it’s executive positions except the Catholic Church. It’s permissible, so why not? The only conceivable reason is that historically women have not held executive positions in the world until recently. The Church is behind the curve. I have no idea what people are afraid of.


Neither will happen.

The history of women deacons is not the equivalent to a deacon.

They were not in major orders, and assisted for sake of modesty in baptizing women converts (which was done in the nude).

They did not serve the Divine Liturgy as deacons do, and did not share functions with deacons.

I believe it was then Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI) who concluded that not only was priestly ordination impossible for women, but also diaconal, too. Only baptized males can receive sacred orders, and since the sacrament is one (even with three grades within), women cannot validly receive it in any grade.

Cardinals as advisers to the Pope have been exclusively clerical for a very long time, and Pope Saint JPII required them to possess at least presbyteral orders.

As time has marched on, the principle duty of the cardinals has become electing the pope. I can’t see any modern pope altering the clerical requirement of JPII.

Pope Francis, would certainly be open to having high-level advice from women, and has looked for ways to do that through various commissions and such. But they will need to advise him as laity (or consecrated women), and not as cardinals.


That’s what men in the US said in the early 20th century about women working and women voting.

It’s not about women becoming saints. It’s about getting a fuller perspective in order to have a better Church. It’s about service.

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