deacon /deaconess

Eastern European Resistance to Islamization

If you’ve ever seen Casablanca, you won’t have forgotten the scene in Rick’s Cafe where the German officers who are singing “Die Wacht am Rhein” are drowned out by the French patrons who burst into a rousing rendition of the “Marseillaise.” Something similar happened last week at the National Opera in Cluj Napoca, Romania. A [...]

A Challenge to St. Paul on Women and a Reply to Fr. Scanlon

Editor's note: The following essay by Dr. Harriet Murphy is a response to a column published in Crisis on July 27, 2016 by Fr. Regis Scanlon OFM Cap on the possibility of a female deaconate. Fr. Scanlon's response to Dr. Murphy's critique may be read here. Cultural historians of the future may well say that Fr. [...]

Getting Scripture Wrong: A Response to Harriet Murphy

Dr. Harriet Murphy has taken a leap off a cliff of her own making in her broadside against my essay in Crisis on the female deaconate. She concludes that anyone (namely, me) who accepts the "literal" interpretation of 1 Tim 2:12-14—“I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man"—is somehow [...]

Deaconesses and the Dangers of Antiquarianism

“Huge news: The female diaconate is not only an idea whose time has come, but a reality recovered from history.” ∼ Father James Martin, SJ With one “tweet” celebrating the new commission appointed by Pope Francis to study the possibility of the ordination of women to the diaconate, Father James Martin, SJ managed to perfectly encapsulate [...]

When Dialogue is a Distraction

Pope Francis has announced a commission to study the female diaconate, following through on a suggestion he made to a group of women religious a few months ago. The announcement has been met with all manner of speculation and punditry, and not a little confusion. The confusion flows from the fact that the topic was [...]

Women Deacons? A Matter of Authority

Pope Francis recently called for a commission to study the possibility of ordaining women to the diaconate in the Catholic Church. This might seem to be disturbing news because it suggests that the pope has opened up the possibility of ordaining women to the hierarchical and sacramental diaconate—a role which, throughout the history of the [...]

Why the Church Needs a Commission on Deaconesses

The openness of Pope Francis to create a committee on deaconesses has been met with another uproar from traditionalists in the Church, many with the eye-rolling Reagan-esque response: “There he goes again.” Meanwhile the theological dissidents in the Church see the commission as another opportunity for women’s ordination. Both the traditionalists and the dissidents seem [...]

In Lieu of Female Deacons, a Proposal

On October 6, 2015, Archbishop Paul-André Durocher of Gatineau, Canada surprised Catholic Synod observers when he called for more study on the possibility of women deacons. In the course of his allotted three-minute address to the assembled bishops at the Synod on the Family, the Archbishop suggested that admitting women to the permanent diaconate could [...]

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