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American bishop suggests ordination of female deacons

September 21, 2012

In the Jesuit magazine America, Bishop Emil Wcela, an auxiliary of the Rockville Center, New York diocese, suggests that women might be ordained to hte permanent diaconate.

Bishop Wcela acknowledges that Pope John Paul II wrote in 1994 that the Church "has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful." But he questions whether that statement applies to the ordination of deacons, whose role in the Church can be distinguished from that of priests. He calls for wider discussion of the possibility.


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  • Posted by: skladach - Sep. 24, 2012 11:11 AM ET USA

    The new Prefect of the CDF weighed in on this question and settled it over ten years ago (2000) in Priestertum und Diakonat, English edition (2002) Priesthood and Diaconate, published by Ignatius Press. The Church cannot ordain women.

  • Posted by: jim.tramonte3115 - Sep. 24, 2012 10:15 AM ET USA

    Note this comment to the America article. Spot on: When one is called to service, no title, no applause, no fancy clothes change that. Mother Teresa didn't need a priesthood. St. Therese of Lisieux didn't need a diaconate. They served. These are all interesting arguments from those who suffer from the same political platitudes as those they criticize. Nothing but yourself holds you back so blaming an institution or a title is just plain silly. If you want to serve, anyone is happy to have you, as you are. Fr. Thomas Francis, OCSO

  • Posted by: Bernadette - Sep. 21, 2012 9:39 PM ET USA

    The problem with that suggestion is that the women will not be satisfied until the "equality" train pulls into the last stop: Priesthood! Note where the good bishop is auxiliary: Rockville Center - noted for its extreme liberalism.

  • Posted by: BobJ70777069 - Sep. 21, 2012 8:55 PM ET USA

    If women can not receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders, then they may not receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Sep. 21, 2012 7:51 PM ET USA

    This bishop is one of the more liberal prelates in the U.S. There is no real evidence for female deacons in the sense that we know the male deacons. This is just somebody trying to shove the camel's nose under the tent. We know where that leads. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. We know what he wants.