Catholic World News

Vatican officials downplay speculation on women deacons

May 16, 2016

Two Vatican officials downplayed speculation occasioned by Pope Francis’s call for the establishment of a commission to study women deacons-- “above all with regard to the early days of the Church,” as the Pope said during a question-and-answer session with women religious superiors on May 12.

In examining the Pope’s remarks, “we need to be honest” said Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Holy See Press Office. “The Pope did not say he intends to introduce the ordination of female deacons, and even less did he talk about the ordination of women as priests.”

“The Holy Father has telephoned me, surprised about the … deaconesses!” tweeted Archbishop Angelo Becciu, the Substitute of the Secretariat of State, who coordinates the work of the Curia. “He thinks about a commission. Let us not rush the conclusions!”


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  • Posted by: geardoid - May. 21, 2016 1:45 PM ET USA

    The pope offered to the lay a preaching faculty, which might be thought to include proclamation of the Gospel. The restriction of Persona Christi he mentioned only for priests and bishops, as in the Eucharist; but we rise at the Gospel acclamation because in the mouth of priest OR deacon the Word puts us also in the Real Presence. A distinctive role of orders to announce the Gospel needs clearly to be set apart from 'preaching', which isn't supernatural. Lay persons have preached in past times.

  • Posted by: jacquebquique5708 - May. 17, 2016 5:23 PM ET USA

    Francis is a master strategist. Every word that he utters is well measured and predetermined. He has a "master plan" and end game.

  • Posted by: bernie4871 - May. 17, 2016 11:17 AM ET USA

    A new kind of Pope - nothing is settled and the future begins with him. His predecessors in the modern era knew well enough that their every word uttered in public was subject to careful attention. Glib, off the cuff comments are not wise. Perhaps, though, he is actually acting in a deliberate way.

  • Posted by: ElizabethD - May. 16, 2016 10:20 AM ET USA

    "Pope Confused by Confusion He Caused"