Pope Francis and the Matter of Female Deacons [Updated]

Sunday, May 22, 2016 (All day)
Article link: 


This has been the pattern ever since Vatican 11. Introduce a topic of novelty and let it simmer for awhile. Then, study it to death with a final report that leaves the door open for change. Then, set up an agitation for the change with expected opposition arising. But, finally, override the opposition by allowing for some change, which will invevitably widen the gap until the final result has been achieved. Been there, done that.

  • One other detail of this nefariousness deserves mention.

    1. Suggest some theological enormity
    2. Strong re-action occurs
    3. Introduce diluted version of enormity
    4. DV of E is accepted
    5. ..and inflicted on the CC as as whole.
    6. CC is enfeebled and demoralised
    7. Original suggestion no longer seems an enormity
    8. The formerly unthinkable version of it is seen as acceptable.

    The process may take a generation or two - but final success is what matters. Case in point: in 1965, a priest was punished for having altar-girls. In 1994, the Pope allows altar-girls.

    What "Saint" JP2 and "Blessed" Paul VI have done beats the alleged enormities of Pope Francis hollow. Catholics who accept either of those men as Saints, have no right to complain of the "errors" of the present Holy Father.

    • You hit the nail on the head.
      All they are good for is distract, deceive, disarm and defeat. The strategy employed by those one would not imagine requires the antidote of our vigilant prayer.

      • I'm very grateful for Pope Francis. What I find frustrating is the inconsistency of those who criticise him, but not his recent predecessors.

        • What do you perceive as inconsistent in those who critique what is
          transpiring? Surely us groundling among the comment crew will offer flawed perspectives, but honestly, you question the raking light brought to this era by Muller? Burke? Schnieder? Brandmuller. Benedict’s confrere, theologian Robert Spaemann? I would be careful
          in bringing them to task. It is well known and unquestioned that Francis is no theologian. Remember well, affect can't substitute for intellect. He doesn't have it. For instance, we know the primary composer of “Amoris Laetitia” is Pope Francis’ personal friend and "theologian" the Argentine Victor Manuel Fernandez (consecrated bishop two months after the election of Pope Francis and author of “Heal Me with Your Mouth: The Art of Kissing.”) Of course a legion of individuals made their contribution – the CDF offered a critique of forty pages to a document of 264 pages. The draft submitted to the CDF must
          have been quite the eye opener. Rhetorically speaking, why not just have Cardinal Muller write it? Oh no, he has marginalized Cardinal Muller while his chosen advisors such as Cardinal Schoenborn some mix of not up to speed, aberrant and not infrequently disingenuous.
          There is a big problem here. Denial will not bring it to a resolution.

  • The Hegelian two-step. Rinse, repeat.







Clarity and charity are very similar. And one who is lacking in the former seems to me to be lacking in the latter.






"Why must we continually revisit matters that have been addressed in detail and are, in many ways, already set..." Excellent question, but I don't think I really want to know the Pope's answer, since all his previous ones have dismayed me.






What desperately painful times we're living in. All of the confusion and upheaval of the reformation era without the consolation of knowing that the pope was fighting the good fight.



Mr. Olson knows full well why the Pope said what he did, and his coyness is annoying.


  • Coyness? Think again. Rather “stealth.” A brazen “subterfuge.” Despite Archbishop Forte’s estimation, it sinks beneath “jesuitical.” At its most benign it might be referenced as “nanny speak.” In any event, disingenuousness is entirely unacceptable.






[Does Pope Francis have any idea of the needless can of worms he opened up with his statement earlier today, made to a gathering of superiors general of women religious communities, that the issue of female deacons should be revisited and possibly studied by a "commission"?]

Of course he does. He is not a fool; he is a revolutionary.

Let's face it. He hates the Church of St. John Paul II and Benedict, and wants to dramatically change it.





I just can't imagine all the hard work the next Pope is going to have to do just to fix all these messes that we have right now. His job is going to be so much harder.





Perhaps PF will also feel compelled to not only revisit ancient Catholic doctrine, but, also dogma.
Why not?
The arrogance!






I think the simple truth is that the word "diakonia" in Greek means service. Thus, there were men who served and women who served in the community. But the women did not have the same functions as the men because they had not been ordained. That is the bottom line.




Jesus said, "You are Peter .... and the gates of hell will not prevail against it." People who until yesterday would have proudly cited those words now seem to doubt. I am struck by the outburst of of glee and despair about this statement (and others) that would seem to indicate that very few people seem to have confidence in the assurances of Jesus about the future of our Church.

  • “Distract, deceive, disarm, defeat,” the tactic of those who engineered the 2013 conclave who had but one purpose in mind -- that which you cite. Undermine the papacy and once done refigure the office to suit the purpose of the new “church” they are confecting. Those who respect the papacy are thus demoralized, neutralized. How can anyone defend the
    papacy when it has been debased and from within? This is why it is urgently necessary for those who can to bring to a halt the grinding gears, the works, the pumps now set in motion to render impotent the Church of Jesus Christ.

  • The Spirit will preserve the teaching of the Church as Christ promised. He always has. He always will. Yes, a crisis has been created, but the Spirit-protected Church will be fine. No institution on the planet is more secure than the Spirit-protected Church.

    That doesn't mean things won't get bad for the Church. They have been very bad before. It seems to me that more often than not throughout the Church's history it has looked like it was on the verge of collapse. Any other institution being assaulted from within and without like the Church has been would indeed have collapsed long ago.

    Yet civilizations rise and fall while the Church continues its march down through the centuries. Regardless of what it looks like, it has been and will continue to be an anvil that has worn out many hammers, due to the indestructibility of the Spirit within her, Who remains a fountain of unadulterated truth and living water for all who desire to drink of it. The Church will abide in spite of her occasionally having in the Chair of Peter one who does not avail himself of the grace that comes with that office.







How is it possible that the pope is unfamiliar with the theological and
historical parameters of the nature of the diaconate? How is it possible that
the pope is unfamiliar with the research on the issue of woman and the diaconate that were concluded in 2002? The hubbub that orbited that study and its conclusions are not all that easily forgotten despite our best efforts. How is it possible that the pope would give credence to an appeal by Hans Kung to review infallibility? This would include “ex cathedra” statements by the pope, “de fide” definitions issued by ecumenical councils and the “ordinarium magisterium” comprised of doctrines that have been constantly taught and held. Essentially Kung and Pope Bergoglio are willing to review all the components of the faith including our understanding of Divine Revelation. Pope Bergoglio appears to have forgotten his theological studies and has not followed events since that time except for those entertaining knots which, for whatever reason, capture his attention or suit his perspective. Thus it appears necessary to establish a commission to yet again reexamine an issue well studied. Why can’t he pick up a book or two and study it? Why can’t he reference the report published in 2002? What were the qualifications this man had to be elected pope? What exactly is going on here? Deference offered once again to the wailing, whining and complaining of the aberrant, mastering their Alinsky tactics while undermining our confidence in the Church.
When questioned regarding the pope’s consent to study the issue Father
Lombardi responded, “I think it’s too early to say what [the pope] has exactly in mind.”
That is the issue, really. What does this pope have in his mind?






"Why not recognize that even if the Church revived a female deaconate today, it would cause far more confusion and dissent than it would anything else?" : Exactly! Not only is the notion counter-magisterial, it is counter-pastoral. The new powers which are always preaching the pastoral over the doctrinal appear to have no pastoral sense. Why in one's right mind would anyone want to bring about something that would be a scourge on Church unity (unless they wanted to disassemble the Church for their own purposes).




Sometimes I view Francis as more a headline-seeking politician than pontiff. Playing to an audience. The audience? The National Catholic Reporter type believer, Kasper and friends, the Western media. Slap downs only for the orthodox, supposedly judgmental Catholic. He loves being pope unlike his predecessors who felt the magnitude and weight of the office. Those were men who made you want to practice your faith on a humble, bent knee. Not so much Francis. Jesus gets lost in the footnotes.


  • I visited the NCR for a few days (weeks ?) during last year's Synod. A few intelligent folks, but mostly obnoxious, whining, self-absorbed leftists and feminists. Mostly older, post-VC2 retreads.

    They are not that smart about economics or finance and that shows in their lack of intellectual rigor. Instead of leaving the Catholic Church for the Anglicans or Episcopalians or Lutherans or some other 3rd-rate Protestant denomination, they whine and cry that the mean old Catholic Church won't copy positions of secular WASPs and Jews in Manhattan and Beverly Hills.

    It really is pathetic. There was this one young whippersnapper, can't remember her name now, escapes me...but she followed me to other sites and accused me of stalking her !

    About as likely as Fred Sanford kissing Aunt Esther !!!



As you note, "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....it pertains to the ministry of discernment which the Lord established in his Church to pronounce authoritatively on this question." The matter is not settled and the Holy Father has asked for it to be studied.

  • No, they studied it less than 15 years ago, Phyllis. This is another distraction for the Church to appease leftist feminists based on SYMBOLISM instead of worrying about the SUBSTANCE of Catholicism.

    Why the Catholic Church continues to want to copy-cat the Episcopalians and Anglicans is beyond me. It's like buying a baseball team and modeling it after the Chicago Cubs instead of the 27-World Series winning New York Yankees.

  • No matter how many books are written by dissenting Catholics, the issue of women's ordination to the priesthood or to the diaconate is settled.

    The theology of the entire Christian message is a marital image: the union of divine and human, bridegroom to bride-- the bridegroom is generative, the bride is receptive. Women /bride/Church is receptive to the divine life that Christ's Incarnation, death and resurrection generates in the Church. Women are the image of receptivity, cannot be ordained to a role that is the image of the male function of generating life.







More and more, the current papacy appear to me a comedy of errors, a comedy that the media gladly exploits to foster the Modernist agenda. In this Year of Mercy, the Pope should show mercy on the much confused Catholic faithful.




Either our Symbolism of the Church is meaningful or it is not.

If the Church is indeed "The Bride of Christ" and, with Him as its head, His Mystical Body, and if the sacrament of Holy Orders raises an ordinary human male to serve at Mass "In persona Christi": What then would ordaining a female mean to that symbolism?

Think about it.



It would mean we were copying those 2 fast-growing, increasingly important denominations, the Episcopalians and Anglicans. LOL

We need more bishops and Vatican folks who can say the word "NO" to these modernist apostates.




Sometimes a concept or thing simply outlives its necessity. That may well be the case with deaconesses. To resurrect the order today, in whatever form, would also require creating the necessity. Difficult to see how that could come about.





Own comment: 

I used to listen to Catholic Answers in the good old days before the Bergoglian pontificate, and even a while after that. I would like to remember that Carl Orlson was on defending Bergoglio in the almost pollyanic way that many Catholics at the time seemed to do. If I am not mistaken, he was once asked why Bergoglio never kneels at the Consecration during Mass. What followed was pollyanity at its best.

Fastforward to 2016 and 3 years of Bergoglio and Carl Orlson has been forced to come and actually attack in plain words what Bergoglio is saying and doing. This piece is about the deaconesses stuff , and he had another a few days afterwards when Bergoglio created a weird equivalence between the Great Commission of the Church and what ISIS and the Islamists do.

Anybody with the least bit of integrity will be forced into a position of attacking Bergoglio's utterings/actions/motives if he or she is interested in defending the truth of Christ. I am glad to see that Carl Olson has joined the fight. It is interesting to note that most of the commenters are vociferous in their opposition to Bergoglio. This is telling because Catholid World Report is a Novus Ordo publication, and one which has been very pollyanish to date.

If you are still on the fence about Bergoglio, it is time  you start questioning your itegrity.