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Francis considering women deacons…….female priestesseses in our lifetime? May 13, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, disaster, Francis, General Catholic, horror, pr stunts, Revolution, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sickness, the struggle for the Church.

Unless the Lord plans to call me very soon, I would say, you can count on it:

Pope Francis told the heads of women’s religious orders from around the world that he would set up a commission to study the New Testament deaconesses and he also insisted more can and should be done to involve lay and consecrated women in church decision-making at every level.

Asked if he would establish “an official commission to study the question” of whether women could be admitted to the diaconate, Pope Francis responded: “I accept. It would be useful for the church to clarify this question. I agree.” [The question has been studied 50 times in as many years.  Yes there were “deaconesses” who performed very limited roles, mostly involving baptism to prevent scandal from women being dunked fully immersed in water wearing thin cotton gowns.  There is essentially nothing in the New Testament concerning these women, save for an obscure reference in the Gospel of Matthew to women “ministering” to Jesus, which could mean anything.  But amidst a thoroughly radicalized, secularized world, to even broach the subject as something that can be discussed is to create unending pressure for it. Francis is the great hope of the liberals to get something they’ve always wanted, and soon.  Women deaconesses are nothing but an opening to women priests, the destruction of which through its de-sacralization has been a constant goal of the enemies of the Faith since the Church’s inception.]

The pope spent more than an hour May 12 responding to questions posed by members of the International Union of Superiors General, repeatedly asking if they wanted further clarification and making funny asides or rephrasing his responses when it was clear they were not hitting the mark. [Judging from the questions (you can see more at the link, this is a thoroughly radicalized group, obsessed with marxian power dynamics and feminist ideology]

“I like hearing your questions because they make me think,” the pope told close to 900 superiors general, representing almost 500,000 sisters around the world. “I feel like a goalie, who is standing there waiting for the ball and not knowing where it’s going to come from.”

Asked about deaconesses in the New Testament and the possibility of the modern church admitting women to the permanent diaconate, Pope Francis had said his understanding was that the women described as deaconesses in the Bible were not ordained like permanent deacons are. Mainly, he said, it appeared that they assisted with the baptism by immersion of other women and with the anointing of women.

However, he said, “I will ask the (Congregation for the) Doctrine of the Faith to tell me if there are studies on this.” [Sheesh. Like I said, it’s been studied to death, as he well knows.  But we all know, the Church was born on December 4, 1965, and then again on March 13, 2013.]

………The main part of the question was about the lack of influence women religious are given in church decision-making processes. Pope Francis said the obligation to listen to women in the parish, diocese and at the Vatican “is not a matter of feminism, but of right.” [Where is this place where women are just totally shunted aside and ignored?  In every single parish I’ve been in, women dominate the staff and teaching positions at a rate of at least 9:1.  Yet they have no voice?  How many dioceses are run by women chancellors?  Obviously, then, these are not honest questions or complaints, but code-speak for further deconstruction of the Church along feminist lines.]

……“Our desire is that the church talk with us — like is happening now — and not about us,” one of the sisters told him……

In other words, do as we say, give us what we want.  Or else our congregations will wither and die!  Oh………

It is sad to see that the penetration of false – really, demonic – feminist ideologies has spread beyond the West and into even most “third world” religious.

I also note that, at least in the articles I’ve seen (two), the discussion of cloistered, contemplative life was totally ignored.  Only the active virtues were given any emphasis.

And the Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate continue their long martyrdom.

Related, and very important.  Young does not equal orthodox or traditional




1. David L Alexander - May 13, 2016

There is a lot in this story all over the Catholic press that is taken way the heck out of context.

Pope Francis answered the question appropriately, and the above reads a great deal into the story that may or may not be there. Since it probably hadn’t come up in the course of his pontificate, he was probably not aware of the International Theological Commission’s 2002 report.

“With regard to the ordination of women to the diaconate, it should be noted that two important indications emerge from what has been said up to this point:

“1. The deaconesses mentioned in the tradition of the ancient Church – as evidenced by the rite of institution and the functions they exercised – were not purely and simply equivalent to the deacons;

“2. The unity of the sacrament of Holy Orders, in the clear distinction between the ministries of the bishop and the priests on the one hand and the diaconal ministry on the other, is strongly underlined by ecclesial tradition, especially in the teaching of the Magisterium.

“In the light of these elements which have been set out in the present historico-theological research document, it pertains to the ministry of discernment which the Lord established in his Church to pronounce authoritatively on this question.”

Deaconesses were never “ordained” in the sense of receiving the sacrament of Holy Orders, but the idea of their revival is, at least in theory, not entirely out of the question. This was also the opinion of the two previous pontificates. If one is going to dump on Francis for this, one can do no less with Benedict XVI and John Paul II.

Deacon William Ditewig has recently put this subject into perspective in an article at Aleteia.

Women Deacons and Pope Francis: Keep Calm and Carry On

Yours truly also wrote a rather extensive essay on the subject in 2012.

Deaconesses: A Rose By Any Other Name

The deaconess is mostly an Eastern phenomenon, and never took hold in the West, so it comes as no surprise that the Orthodox Churches have seen a revival of the office in the last century. The question remains open, but what it is, as well as what it isn’t, hinges on a further understanding of both the theology of the diaconate itself, and the theology of the role of women in the Church.

Scholarly endeavors do not always take the form one might expect when leaving the ivory tower. This is one of those endeavors, and has been for some time. Women cannot and will not receive Holy Orders. Deacons and deaconesses are two different things. That’s pretty much the ball game.

2. Richard Malcolm - May 13, 2016

I also note that, at least in the articles I’ve seen (two), the discussion of cloistered, contemplative life was totally ignored. Only the active virtues were given any emphasis.

Makes one wonder if the Church made a serious mistake in permitting active women’s religious orders.

Most male religious arguably ought to be….contemplative as well.

3. Richard Malcolm - May 13, 2016

P.S. Reading the interview again in full, I actually remain skeptical that Francis is going anywhere with deaconesses in any form. It’s never been something we’ve heard him talk about before; here he’s spontaneously answering in his usual vague and inchoate way to a question, and he evinces some recognition of the fact that there’s very little patristic foundation for this.

But that said, I am far less sanguine about the expansion of the priesthood to married men (which I think is a bad idea). This is something he *has* talked about, and clearly seems interested in pursuing. And if he is given a few more years in office, I think it will happen.

Tantumblogo - May 13, 2016

I had that thought while writing. Francis does seem to – perhaps – throw a bit of cold water on the notion of female deacons by mentioning their limited role in the early Church. A role that did not last long even with those limitations.

Granting that, however, we are left with another off the cuff statement that energized progressives and creates an expectation for change. It’s the kind of self-fulfilling prophecy we’ve seen repeatedly in the Church over the past 50 years, where demands from the left lead to “studies” which create more demand and eventually lead to a cave. Like the re-writing of many missals to include “inclusive language” or the whole altar girl debacle.

And as I said, there have already been too many studies to count, and too many very clear statements from Francis’ predecessors repeatedly refuted the notion of female clergy, and yet suddenly it needs to be studied again? Rather reminiscent of how Familiaris Consortio “slammed the door” on regularization of divorce, only to have that door, if not kicked down, at least forced back open with a Franciscan crow bar.

We’ll see. But I increasingly wonder whether very, very little of what this pope does is really off-the-cuff or spontaneous. I think these are largely stage-managed events with a specific end in mind.

Baseballmom - May 13, 2016

Thank you. I wish I could swear but I will not…. Dang nabbit… None of these things are spontaneous – WAKE UP PEOPLE… quit drinking the koolaid ….

4. David - May 13, 2016

The Chicago Tribune ran an article on Sunday May 8 (The Yahoo news wire carried it) about a woman receiving a PhD in moral theology from Mundelin, and she will be teaching at a Catholic seminary. While this is really nothing new (Dr. Smith teaches at Sacred Heart), the Tribune “intentionally slanted” the article to show how great Papa Francis is expanding the role of women. Catholics reading this who have been poorly catechized will think women priests are just around the corner, even though the woman receiving the PhD clearly stated in the article that she is on board with Church teaching, she is celibate by choice, and she doesn’t think women should be in ordained ministry.

5. c matt - May 13, 2016

“I feel like a goalie, who is standing there waiting for the ball and not knowing where it’s going to come from.”

So is he making saves, or letting the ball through? I could see this as a “feint” of sorts – toss the Akins and Sheas of the blogosphere a fig leaf (“Yay!! No women priests!”) while removing clerical celibacy (“13 Things to Know and Share”).

Tantumblogo - May 13, 2016

That’s far from improbable. But I would remind that progressives always work with the long-term goal in mind. Every step in that direction is a victory to them. Going back to “study” women deacons – even in a limited role – is a big shift from established doctrine. It paves a clear path for women priests.

If one wants to say this is all spin, look at who is doing the spinning? I quoted from CNS, the official news agency of the US bishops. That article strongly implied Francis’ response represents a shift. That’s what I meant about encouraging agitation, that’s exactly what this kind of response does.

The next push at the next synod is not only married priests, but also – at least the progressives hope – some kind of recognition for pseudo-sodo-marriage. No, they say, absolutely not marriage, but maybe some kind of “union.”

That has always, in every country where this battle has been fought, just a way station for “marriage.”

YMMV, I guess.

David L Alexander - May 13, 2016

“Going back to ‘study’ women deacons – even in a limited role – is a big shift from established doctrine. It paves a clear path for women priests.”

The comparison with “inclusive language” (which has been for its proponents, at least in the English-speaking world, generally a defeat) and female altar servers may bear a resemblance in the method behind the madness, but we’re talking about a central teaching of the Church here. Remember that the effort to corrupt the English revision of the Sacramentally was stopped when a proposal for the Rite of Ordination came to the attention of the CDF. There has been a very firm line drawn in the sand. Whatever further study is done on the question of deaconesses, will be based upon studies done up to now, and they simply do not support the ordination of women. Not even close.

Even Dr Zagano, in her work on the history of deaconesses (which was first encouraged by no less than the late John Cardinal O’Connor) makes any number of broad leaps in drawing conclusions thereupon. No matter how thorough her scholarship, she simply cannot connect all the dots.

As to a married priesthood, the Eastern Rite Catholics already allow for it in their tradition, and even with its revival in the United States in recent years, the practice is moving very slowly. You don’t see married deacons and other married men lining up around the corner of Eastern Rite chanceries for the job. If it moves that slowly where it’s always been allowed by tradition, what of those situations where it’s an innovation?

David L Alexander - May 13, 2016

“Sacramentally” instead of “Sacramentary.” Darn that autocorrect, foiled again!

Tantumblogo - May 13, 2016

Oh I hate mine. It gets me every time.

6. tg - May 13, 2016

“The main part of the question was about the lack of influence women religious are given in church decision-making processes. Pope Francis said the obligation to listen to women in the parish, diocese and at the Vatican “is not a matter of feminism, but of right”- this is lie because in most NO parishes, women basically run it. They are over the place – in the altar and also because many men don’t go to Mass. Great, all we need is more women at the altar. I don’t think I could attend a Mass with a woman deacon. I told a priest about all the things that bother me at Mass. He basically said to offer it up. He said we can be dry martyrs.

David L Alexander - May 14, 2016

I don’t know if it’s a “lie,” so much as the result of either not getting out of the house much, or speaking from his own experience in his part of the world. And it’s true, at least in North America. Most of the staffs of parishes are women, probably because they’re not the main or sole breadwinner of their households.

And by the way, Pope Francis has, on more than one occasion, spoken in the clearest possible terms against any prospect of women being ordained priests (or “priestesses,” if you will). So to answer the question in the title of this post, no, he is not.

7. Maggie - May 14, 2016

It seems we are constantly being bombarded from within and without the church, from every side even. Must keep eyes on the Lord.

8. Tradition and Lace - May 14, 2016

I think my ulcer is coming back.

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