Survey: Religious superiors support possibility of women deacons


From Catholic News Service


Yeah, not gonna happen…


“They said: ‘The Church opens the door to deaconesses.’ Really? I am a bit angry because this is not telling the truth of things,” the pope said.
“We had heard that in the first centuries there were deaconesses,” he continued. “One could study this and one could make a commission. Nothing more has been requested.”


I thought religious superiors would be more orthodox, but the article makes it seem like they want women priests and ordained women deacons.


From the report, respondents were asked about influences on their position of women deacons. 38% cited Joan Chittister, OSB; 36% cited Sandra Schneiders, IHM; and 15% cited Phyllis Zagano (89% of all respondents). I think it is safe to say that the sampled population is not representative of the greater population.


Sure hope NOT! We are ok with the way things are and women already have many roles in the Church where important decisions are made. Women do NOT need to be up in front “tooting our horn” or demanding equal pulpit time. Just look to Our Blessed Mother and see how she acted and influenced Her Son. Look at other Saintly women and how important their roles were and they didn’t need the pat on the back, the official “Deacon” title or pulpit time. There are roles in the Church that men have had and should continue to have that women should support but not take over. God have mercy on us and on the whole world.


Technically it could happen, depending on what one means by “deacon.”


That’s a lot of accusation there!

Religious orders to a lot of good, especially for the most vulnerable around us.

Let’s not get too stressed just because some support women deacons — when in fact that could very much be a possibility, depending on what someone means by “ordain” and “deacon.”


Let’s be honest here. I would wager that most of those religious superiors surveyed who voted in favor of women deacons, would likely be in favor of women priests too. And as tseleehw pointed out, other heinous things as well. Maybe not the majority, but more than a few.


I’m not really sure how to determine this either way.

Regardless, the church is indebted to the great work carried out by Catholic religious communities. I would never want to put them in a bad light or accuse them of something I have no real evidence for.

God Himself knows my own life could use the example of these wonderful men and women!


The early church had female deacons. Their role was not the same as current deacons (they weren’t clergy)…


catholic1seeks has asked the right questions. It depends on how you define “woman deacon” and what you mean by “ordain”.

It certainly seems that the church could easily “commission” women to a “ministry” of “deaconess”, which would not be a female version of an ordained male deacon and wouldn’t have the same faculties.

The issue gets a bit more sticky if you are talking about validly ordained female members of the clergy with faculties to preach, teach, marry, bury, baptize, proclaim, bless, and minister holy communion.


You’re right it gets sticky.

Because with many of these rolls, they aren’t inherently connected to ordained ministry, even if they are currently legally so. For example, baptizing is not inherently connected to the ordained ministry. I suppose this could change. Even with preaching.


Terrible either way. Altar girls are bad enough.


So was it terrible when the early church had women deacons?

Again, we have to be careful in how we are using our terms.


I think God made clear the respect we should owe to women in the Church when he made one the mother of his only Son, the one human to be born without sin, and to remain unblemished until death, and the Queen of heaven and earth. No man ever achieved such a height. Our blessed mother had no title or honour during her life time, and yet reached the greatest heights of holiness any human has, or could, ever attain. We should daily thank God for the amazing women who sustain our Church.


First, it is not clear that the early Church had women deacons in the modern understanding of the word. There only seems to be evidence for localised examples of women being allowed certain positions in the Church, though these were not remotely ministerial. Hence the references to ‘deaconesses’ etc. The reason the Holy Father called a comission was to examine this context, not to consider their implementation in the modern Church. And yes, the presence of women in the sanctuary was frowned upon 1994 unless very specific circumstances were met, and even these were only defined in the 17th century. I think 1960 years since the crucifixion is a considerably longer than 24 since 1994. Incidentally, this was a permission given only after repeated disobedience to previous bans, which were reiterated as late as the 80s, and it was certainly never encouraged as a practise. Much like communion in the hand and ubiquitous EMHCs (though the latter is a whole different level of disobedience, both to the GIRM and common sense.)


I wouldn’t mind being a deacon some day in the future. But I’d want to be a real deacon. Not “deacon lite”.


Considering that altar girls, EMHCs, and communion in the hand are all licit, what is your point?


His point is probably that it’s a slippery slope to women becoming priests, at which point the entire church is apparently taken over by women and all the men quit en masse and go to Hell . Amirite?

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