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Ordained Women Deacons

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2007/06/16 15:02:18 (permalink)

Ordained Women Deacons

Dear friends,

The ordained women's diaconate has been in the news a fair bit of late.  Though we have a thread devoted to Phoebe (a deacon in the Early Church,) I realise we haven't yet devoted a thread specifically to the ordained women's diaconate, it's history, it's role and the work being done to restore it.

'Word on the street' is that Pope Benedict XVI is contemplating 'change' through restoration of the ordained women's diaconate.  This would be a massive step forward in our campaign.  Until recently, the Vatican refused to publicly acknowledge the fact that in the first one thousand years of Christianity, an ordained women's diaconate  functioned in service to of our Church.

The Great Schism of 1054 saw a split between the East and the West. Standing in time where we do now, we have an opportunity to see that while the women's diaconate fell to the wayside in the West, it never quite did in the same sort of way fall into abeyance in the East.

We stand near the time when the devoted efforts of the agents for change who have worked for restoration of the diaconate will bloom.  I will keep you posted. In the meantime, we have an opportunity to learn more.  Because the women's diaconate fell out of use in the Western Church, many of its faithful are not even aware that a women's diaconate was once part of the Church. 

Here we'll explore.  We are graced to have the company of Dr. Wijngaards as we make our way. As someone who has devoted his wisdom and energy to the cause of restoring the diaconate, he is recognised as one of the world's leading agents for change in this way. 

If you have any questions along the way, please let me know. 

with love and blessings,
~Sophie~ 
post edited by Sophie - 2007/09/03 18:07:32

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    RE: The Women's Ordained Diaconate 2007/06/16 15:07:16 (permalink)
      Sophie I am happy there seems to be some progress in the church to allow women to be deacons. thanks for letting us know.  the thread about women apostles and women disciples i think might have articles about women deacons too and Pheobe too. maybe  some  of these Phoebe and deacon posts could be shown over here as well as kept there too.
       thanks so much for your hard work and care                              from janet
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    RE: The Ordained Women's Diaconate 2007/06/16 15:15:53 (permalink)
     




    Dear Janet,

    Thank you for your words of encouragement and your idea.  I think it's a good one.  In terms of hard work and care?  I am constantly amazed at the passion and energy I witness in this work -- a sign to me that the Holy Spirit is with us!
    No doubt our collective prayers and support are helping the work, too.

    We are privileged to share this part of the Way together! I am grateful for your company!

    with love and blessings,
    ~Sophie~

      
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    RE: The Women's Ordained Diaconate 2007/06/16 15:30:53 (permalink)
      Please Sophie where is the petition for women deaconate?  I just saw it a moment ago.  How is it accessed please?
    Sophie
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    RE: The Ordained Women's Diaconate 2007/06/16 15:35:24 (permalink)
    Dear friends,

    Dr. Wijngaards and our Team have prepared many documents about the women's diaconate.  We'll start our investigation with an historical overview!  Be sure to check out the links!

    The body of the following information is found in document form via this link:General Introduction to Women Deacons
     
    If you have any questions, please let me know!

    with love and blessings,
    ~Sophie~

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Women deacons

    From the earliest times, women have taken an active part in the ministry of the Church. The precise extent and nature of this ministry is not easy to unravel, partly because of the scarcity of historical records, partly because of divergent ministries and a variety of names given to such ministries. During the first two centuries the order of ‘widows’ seems to have absorbed most of the female involvement in the apostolate. The rise and decline of women's diaconate is a complex story.

    For the sake of our main argument, we will here concentrate on the undeniable fact that from the third to at least the ninth century the Church has had validly ordained and active women deacons.
    1. The diaconate ordination imparted to women was a true sacramental ordination, parallel in all essentials to that of the diaconate for men.
      -
    2. The ordination of women deacons was sanctioned by Church councils.
      -
    3. The tasks of women deacons ran parallel to those expected from male deacons, with some specific duties inherent in the position and the need of women at the time. These tasks corresponded to a complete diaconate ministry.
      -
    4. Historical records confirm that the diaconate of women flourished for many centuries, especially in Greece, Syria and throughout Byzantium.

    Since the diaconate is part of sacramental holy orders, it follows that, if women could be validly ordained deacons, they can be validly ordained priests.
     
    The Council of Trent defined:


    If anyone says that in the Catholic Church there does not exist a hierarchy, established through divine ordination, which consists of bishops, priests and deacons, let him be anathema. (Denzinger no 966).

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Be assured, much more to follow!
    ~s~
    Sophie
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    RE: The Women's Ordained Diaconate 2007/06/16 15:47:42 (permalink)
    ORIGINAL: Guest

    Please Sophie where is the petition for women deaconate?  I just saw it a moment ago.  How is it accessed please?


    Dear friend,

    Good question.  By way of background for those who don't know, we have recently opened a new Blog.  You can connect with it here: Dream! !Share! Act!. For more information about it, click here: RE: etc....items of interest

    A current initiatives in the Blog is a global letter to Pope Benedict XVI.  Our Team Member Jackie Clackson explains:


    We are going to send a chain letter to the Pope requesting him to admit women to the sacrament of the diaconate. This will be a letter from the People of God.

    After this introduction we post the core text of the letter. This core text is deliberately left short. It was agreed to by all member movements of Women's Ordination Worldwide .

    In this blog we are inviting you to sign this letter and so subscribe to it. Please, add your own thoughts, testimonies, pleas and life stories that will be sent to the Pope as part of the official letter.

    So, speak up! The People of God must be heard! Tell the Pope why the Church should at least make the first step of restoring the diaconate of women that has functioned for a thousand years!

    My next post will contain a copy of the Letter and links to help you connect and offer your support to this effort.

    with love and blessings,
    ~Sophie~
    Sophie
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    RE: The Women's Ordained Diaconate 2007/06/16 15:53:38 (permalink)
    Dear friends,

    Here is a copy of the Letter to the Pope asking him to restore the ordained women's diaconate.  I encourage you to sign it.  To do so, the link at the bottom will connect you with the page where you can do so.  If you are interested in seeing who has signed since the Letter began, see here: View Signatures. The blue arrows will help you advance page by page.  The green arrows provide a direct connection with either the beginning of the end of the list.

    As of this moment, 382 people from all over the world have shared their endorsement by signing on.  From time to time, I will keep you posted on what's happening.

    I encourage you to sign the Letter.  Modern technology provides us with marvellous resources to lift our voices in unison! Be a part of global action. Together, let's seize the moment!  Please join us.  Provide your endorsement through the link at the bottom or connect with it here: Attach your signature here.

    If you have any questions, as always, let me know.

    with love and blessings,
    ~Sophie~

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


    Pope Benedict XVI
    Vatican City
    ROME

    Dear Father in Christ,

    Through this extended letter by the people of God, we request you to re-install the sacramental diaconate for women in the Roman Catholic Church.

    Historical precedent


    For the first nine hundred years,
    sacramentally ordained women deacons served our Catholic communities in many parts of the Church. Bishops laid hands on those women, invoking God to pour his Holy Spirit over them to sanctify them for the ministry of the diaconate. We believe that the time has come for the Church to re-introduce this ancient practice.

    Support for women in ministries


    In dioceses, parishes and chaplaincies women are already fulfilling diaconal tasks which, according to the mind of Christ, should be sanctioned and supported by the grace of sacramental ordination. We refer to ministries such as instructing catechumens, taking communion to the sick, caring for the elderly and dying, providing spiritual direction and presiding at Eucharistic services where no priest is available. The women now fulfilling these ministries lack the special divine assistance and encouragement offered by the traditional rite of ordination.

    The needs of God’s People

    Moreover, if the Church re-institutes the sacrament of the diaconate for women, many more women can be drawn in to serve God’s people who are now deprived of the full benefits of women’s ministries. This need is becoming more acute by the day through the diminishing numbers of priests in pastoral care in major parts of the Church.

    Dear Father, submitting our collection of stories, testimonies and pleas, we urge you to listen to God’s people and initiate the changes that will return to the community of the faithful the precious gift of ordained women deacons.

    Member Organizations of WOMENS ORDINATION WORLDWIDE:

    • BASIC - Ireland
    • CNWE - Canada
    • CWO - Great Britain
    • FHE - France
    • Housetop/www.womenpriests.org - International
      IKETH - International
    • Miriam Verein - Austria
    • New Wine - Great Britian
    • OCW - Australia
    • Phoebe - Japan
    • RCWP - Europe, Europe-West, North America
    • We Are Church - Germany
    • WOC - USA

    Sophie
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    RE: The Ordained Women's Diaconate 2007/06/16 15:54:54 (permalink)
    Dear friends,

    Please tell others about our Petition to the Pope on reinstating the women's diaconate!  This from our Blog --

    Tell others
    about our petition to the Pope ...


    If you have a friend you could ask to join, please do!

    Fill in the e-mail address of the person(s) you wish to pass the information to. Also your own name and e-mail address, please, otherwise they may think it is spam. Then click the SEND button. Write a few personal words that will be included in the e-mail.
     

    If you are interested in helping out in this way, click here: http://www.equalityforwomen.org/cgi-bin/petition.cgi for the page where you can enter the addresses.  Our computer technology will take care of sending the mail on its way.  

    If you have any questions, please let me know.

    with love and blessings,
    ~Sophie~
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    RE: The Ordained Women's Diaconate 2007/06/16 16:00:08 (permalink)
     
     
    Thank you, Sophie!
    Sophie
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    RE: The Ordained Women's Diaconate 2007/06/16 16:17:51 (permalink)
    Dear friends,

    The involvement of women in the apostolate of the early Church is indisputable.  In his article When did the Church begin to ordain Women Deacons?, Dr. Wijngaards provides us with a brief overview.  In his analysis, he considers:
    • the women who assisted Paul
    • women's role as 'prophets'
    • the ministry of women as 'widows'
    • women deacons

    In this document, Dr. Wijngaards points out that  'n the Byzantine part of the Church diaconesses flourished until well into the 8th and 9th centuries. Many women deacon saints are venerated in the calendar of the Orthodox Church.' Why did the ordained women's diaconate 'disappear?'  Dr. Wijngaards explains that the ultimate decline of the diaconate of women has been attributed to two main causes:
    • the fear of a woman's ‘ritual uncleanness’ due to her monthly periods
    • the decline in the baptism of adults. This decreased the need of help by women deacons.

    In the context of the Western Church, Dr. Wijngaards points out that there has always been great opposition to women deacons in the Latin speaking regions of the Church: Italy, North Africa, Gaul and Brittany.  The main reasons for this were:

    By the time of the Middle Ages few people knew what the diaconate of women had meant to the Early Church.  There is much more to follow! If you have any questions, please let me know!

    with love and blessings,
    ~Sophie~
    Sophie
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    RE: The Ordained Women's Diaconate 2007/06/16 16:56:41 (permalink)
    Dear friends,

    As we've learned, there has always been great opposition to women deacons in the Latin speaking regions of the Church:  Italy, North Africa, Gaul and Brittany.  Dr. Wijngaards explains that the main reasons for this were:
    • the influence of Roman law according to which no position of authority could be given to women
    • the fear of what was thought to be women's ritual uncleanness -- in modern day terms, read: because of their monthly periods, women were classified as ritually unclean 

    What are we to make of the influence of Roman law?  In his document, Women Were Considered Inferior Creatures, Dr. Wijngaards how throughout the Church's history, women have been considered inferior by both nature and law. Dr. Wijngaards examines the influence of:
    • Greek philosophy: adopted by early Christians, it held women to be inferior to men by nature.
    • Roman law:  For a variety of reasons, it became the basis for the Church's laws.  Because Roman law gave women a low status in society: women did not enjoy equal rights in their homes or in civic society -- its influence followed through to the Church.
    • Fathers of the Church:  Many linked women's presumed inferior status to scriptural texts.  For instance, they thought only the man was created in God's image. Moreover, scriptures tell us that Paul forbade women from teaching in church.
    • Church Orders of the first millennium show traces of the belief in women's inferiority

    The influence on the Church?  Theologians copied these lines of thinking thereby integrating the anti-women views of Greeks and Romans into their theological reasonings.  Church lawyers formulated Church Law on the basis of Roman Law, and on the negative statements of Fathers and local Church Councils.  As Dr. Wijngaards points out, once we know this background, it isn't at all surprising to find out that the vast majority of early Church Fathers, canon lawyers, theologians and leaders held the view that women were inferior creatures and as such, could not be ordained a priest. As we learn more, it becomes even more clear that social and cultural biases influenced them and shaped their attitudes towards women.

    In this article, Dr. Wijngaards looks at:
    • Plato and Aristotle who held that women are 'inferior by nature' -- defective human beings, not in the image of God...
    • how Roman Law attributed low status to women
    • the  Fathers of the Church saw women as inferior
    • early Church Orders and women's lower status
    • theologians embracing notions of the inferiority of women
    • Church law enshrining the 'inferiority' of women

    Dr. Wijngaards points out in his conclusion:

    It is a fact that many Fathers, canon lawyers, theologians and Church leaders were of the opinion that women could not be ordained priests. It is undeniable that this opinion rested, and rests, on the prejudice that holds women to be inferior.  It is clear that this social and cultural bias invalidated their judgment as to the suitability of women for ordination.

    The link to the article is here: http://www.womenpriests.org/traditio/inferior.asp.  Take note of and explore the links.  Some of them are included in the icon located in the upper right hand corner of the page.  From my point of view, this theme tends to get quite wearing.  If you, like me, need to bob up for fresh air from time to time, I recommend as antidotes:

    If you have any questions, please let me know!
     
    with love and blessings,
    ~Sophie~

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    RE: The Ordained Women's Diaconate 2007/06/16 17:07:23 (permalink)
     




    Dear friends,

    If you are interested in participating in  or exploring dialogue about the negative attitudes that made their way into our Church and our thinking about women,  I urge you to visit our thread: Women--misbegotten men? An ancient prejudice lives and rules  Although it may seem discouraging at times, keep in mind that Good Friday was not the end of the story!
     
    with love and blessings,
    ~Sophie~
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    RE: The Ordained Women's Diaconate 2007/06/23 16:01:47 (permalink)
    Dear friends,

    Historical records tell us about the endorsement of ordained women deacons in the Church. 

    The records of ecumenical councils tell us that ordained women deacons  functioned in the early Church.  Records show that for more than first six centuries, several ecumenical councils endorsed the sacramental function of ordained women deacons. Surprised? The article, Church Councils on Women Deacons, briefly examines the records of those early ecumenical councils. For instance, we know:
    • Ecumencial Council of Chalcedon 451 AD: A Woman shall not receive the laying on of hands as a deaconess under forty years of age, and then only after searching examination. And if, after she has had hands laid on her and has continued for a time to minister, she shall despise the grace of God and give herself in marriage, she shall be anathematized as well as the man united to her.” (Chalcedon, canon 15.)

    The article is brief.  You can connect with it via this link: http://www.womenpriests.org/deacons/deac_cls.asp

    From the point of view of the eastern Church, Dr. Kiriaki Karidoyanes Fitzgerald's  book Women Deacons in the Orthodox Church provides thorough data about the history of women deacons and discusses the issue of their sacramental ordination.  Dr. Wijngaards describes her book as this: 'academically reliable...spiritually profound...Written from an Orthodox point of view, it is eminently ‘Catholic’ in its feel. It is the best book on women deacons I have seen.'  Clicking on the link above will give you an opportunity to see the overview of her research. If you have any questions, please let me know!

    with love and blessings,
    ~Sophie~
    Sophie
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    RE: The Ordained Women's Diaconate 2007/06/23 16:16:23 (permalink)
    Dear friends,

    The names of women deacons in early times are known to us through ample records of deaconesses in the Byzantine  empire.  Because of their connections with famous church leaders, we know about: 
    • Olympias in Constantinople, ordained by Bishop Nektarios, friend of St. Gregory of Nazianze and later of St. John Chrysostom. Died in 418 AD.
    • Anonyma who ministered in Antioch during the persecution of Julian the Apostate (361-363 AD).
    • Procula and Pentadia, two deaconesses to whom St. Chrysostom wrote letters.
    • Salvina whom St. Jerome knew and who later became a deaconess in Constantinople.
    • Severus, Bishop of Antioch mentions Deaconess Anastasia in his letters.
    • Deaconess Macrina, sister of St. Basil the Great, and her friend and deaconess Lampadia.
    • Deaconess Theosebia, wife of St. Gregory of Nissa.

    The names of deaconesses remain inscribed on ancient tombstones to this day.  Our library article, Women Deaconesses in Historical Records provides more information...including renditions early tombstone inscriptions. Connect with the article here: http://www.womenpriests.org/deacons/deac_rec.asp  If you have any questions, please let me know.

    with love and blessings,
    ~Sophie~
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    RE: The Ordained Women's Diaconate 2007/06/23 16:22:10 (permalink)
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Moving forward:

    A partial list of women deacon saints is available to us through data from Women Deacons in the Orthodox Church, by Kyriaki Karodoyanes FitzGerald. Filled with  many details about these early women saints, the book also provides information as to how the memory of these women live on in the Church today.  For a brief overview of who some of the early women deacons were, click here: http://www.womenpriests.org/deacons/deac_sts.asp

    ~s~
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    RE: The Ordained Women's Diaconate 2007/06/23 16:31:28 (permalink)
    Dear friends,

    While Dr. Kyriaki Karodoyanes FitzGerald illuminates what was happening in the eastern part of the early Church (see above,) Matthew Smyth provides us with a perspective as to what was happening in the west.  His article, Deaconesses in Late Antique Gaul explores:
    • the records of early Church Synods.  Smyth points out: 'The best proof of the existence of Western deaconesses is found in the very effort which was made to stop them from spreading.'
    • Deaconesses in historical records
    • Were deaconesses nuns?
    • Female fragility

    The link to the article is here: http://www.womenpriests.org/deacons/deac_smy.asp  If you have any questions, please let me know.

    with love and blessings,
    ~Sophie~
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    RE: The Ordained Women's Diaconate 2007/06/23 17:02:02 (permalink)
    Dear friends,

    A short side bar about Dr. Kiriaki Karidoyanes Fitzgerald~

    Earlier today I was reading an interview she gave on August 16, 1999 about her spiritual and academic journey in the Orthodox Church. While sharing her thoughts about women entering Orthodox seminaries (ordained women's priesthood is also prohibited in the Orthodox Church,) her words resonated with me:

    I have found that women usually come to an Orthodox seminary for two personal reasons. First, they come for enrichment. They make the sacrifices, take the time and effort out of their lives in order to come to study the faith in depth and in an Orthodox environment. And this is truly a wonderful thing. Second, a good number of these women also desire to serve the Church in an active, intelligent, and permanent manner. When I taught at seminary (Holy Cross), I had many conversations with women who came to study for one or both of these reasons. While they generally loved their programs, many also shared their experiences of profound disappointment. They related to me repeated examples of their presence, gifts, and talents being diminished, ignored or rejected, simply because they were women...When women are shamed in this way it is completely antithetical to the Gospel. It completely reflects the "bad news." This is what happened to women in Old Testament Israel when they were declared ritually "unclean." In an Orthodox Christian understanding now to be unclean means to lack the presence of the Holy Spirit. This is unrelated to biology or issues of blood. There are traditions within the Church that for many have been mistaken for Traditions regarding women being unclean when they have their menstrual period. The teaching that women are unclean, and therefore excluded from the sacraments as well as the altar as the custom has deigned, is not within the living Tradition of the Church. St. Cyprian of Carthage's popular saying fully applies here: "A custom without Truth is merely an ancient error." What I have learned in my life and studies is that every vocation, if it is of God and authentic to the person in that context, is beautiful. I use that word carefully and mindfully. The more I have learned about various ministries that women have served, especially in the diaconate, the more I have learned a woman's vocation comes only from God. The diaconate wasn't just a ministry where women were "allowed" to do certain things. What I have found instead in studying the history of the Church and studying the prayers of ordination is that woman is called to something beautiful from a God who is both beautiful and beyond beauty.

    If you are interested in reading the interview, the link is here:
    http://www.stnina.org/journal/art/3.2.6.

    with love and blessings,
    ~Sophie~



    Dr. FitzGerald presenting an icon from the Istanbul
    Conference Participants to the Ecumenical Patriarch


    Dr. Kyriaki FitzGerald is a theologian, educator, pastoral counselor, and licensed psychologist. Awarded the Ph.D. degree from the Division of Theological and Religious Studies at Boston University, she has specialized in Orthodox systematic theology both at the School of Theology of the University of Thessaloniki, Greece, where she obtained a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies, and at Holy Cross Orthodox School of Theology, where she earned the Master of Divinity degree. Also completing the Orthodox pre-theological studies program at Hellenic College with majors in philosophy and religion, she was honored in 1994 as the first woman graduate to receive the Alumni Citation "in recognition of her support of and bringing recognition to Hellenic College-Holy Cross School of Theology."

    Dr. FitzGerald has served on the graduate theological and/or clinical faculties of the Ecumenical Institute of the University of Geneva/World Council of Churches, St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, Andover-Newton Theological School, and Holy Cross Orthodox School of Theology. She has recently returned from serving as an Orthodox Theological Consultant to the World Council of Churches, where she also taught as a visiting professor in Orthodox theology at the Ecumenical Institute (Geneva, Switzerland) during the 1994-97 academic years and the Institute's Bossey Seminars 1998 (Athens, Greece).

    For fourteen years, she served as a commissioner of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches, representing the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, and is frequently invited to represent the Patriarchate of Constantinople at international ecumenical dialogues and meetings. She is the author of Women Deacons in the Orthodox Church: Called to Holiness and Ministry (Holy Cross Orthodox Press) and editor of Orthodox Women Speak: Discerning "Signs of the Times" (World Council of Churches Publications and Holy Cross Orthodox Press). She has recently co-authored with her husband, Fr. Thomas FitzGerald, Living Faithfully: The Beatitudes in Everyday Life (forthcoming from Holy Cross Orthodox Press). With articles published in The Journal of Ecumenical Studies, the Greek Orthodox Theological Review, Ministerial Formation, Ecumenical Trends, and the St. Nina Quarterly, she has written or lectured on topics related to theology and spirituality, theological education, ecumenism and modernity, women and men in the life of the Church, pastoral theology, and psychology. She is a member of the Honorary Advisory Board of the St. Nina Quarterly.
    -Teva Regule
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    RE: The Ordained Women's Diaconate 2007/07/11 06:53:43 (permalink)
    Women Deacons: Why Now?
    www.futurechurch.org

    Recently we have been asked if, by adding women deacons to our petition to the International Synod on the Eucharist, we aren’t retreating from calling for open discussion of women’s ordination to the priesthood. To the contrary, we believe putting female deacons on the table will stimulate a long overdue discussion about women’s roles in a Church presently fearful putting “woman” and “ministry” in the same sentence.

    Women’ full ministerial inclusion is a process. The first step is to educate about Jesus’ inclusive practice. The second step is to bring to visibility the women ministers already serving the church. Our Women in Church Leadership and Celebrating Women Witnesses projects,developed by FutureChurch and partnered with Call To Action, have already done much to advance this important work.

    It is a little known fact that women/lay ministers are the “glue” helping to hold the Church together. Worldwide, there are 783,000 women religious serving the church’s 1.07 billion Catholicscompared to 405,000 priests. Add the nuns to at least 1.5 million female lay ministers (catechists, missionaries and members ofsecular institutes) and it becomes clear that Catholicism’s ministerial crisis cannot be solved without expanding women’s roles.

    The next step in the process is to ordain women deacons. This would legitimate women’s sacramental ministry in the Church. Most Catholic women ministers in the U.S. (conservatively, an estimated 82% of 65,000 lay pastoral ministers and chaplains) already have qualifications (and more) to be ordained deacons immediately. As deacons they can preach, baptize and witness marriages. This constitutes a huge new pool of ministers who could be readily available to help meet the sacramental needs of a growing church.

    In the Anglican Church, women first became deaconesses, then deacons and then they were ordained to the priesthood. According to two experts on the subject, John Wijngaards and Phyllis Zagano, the Church had deacons before we had priests (as we understand priests today). Paul describes Phoebe as diakonos, the same word he applied to himself. The ordination rites for women deacons were the same as those for men deacons and they were regarded as sacramental. The reluctance of the institutional Church to seriously consider ordaining women deacons is probably linked to this fact. However the Vatican has not closed the door on this discussion. Indeed it cannot, without seriously damaging its credibility.

    To petition for women deacons does not mean that FutureChurch [or www.womenpriests.org ] has stopped advocating open discussion of women’s ordination to the priesthood. Along with the Catholic Theological Society of America we believe this discussion is very important. We haveconflicting teachings in the Church. The Church says women are equal. But women can’t exercise this equality since canon law says only the ordained can govern—and of course, only men can be ordained. The discussion of governance is an urgent one and needs to be considered in its own right since the laity should also have voice in Church governance.

    It is an unpleasant fact that ordaining women priests in the Catholic Church will require lengthy internal processing, a change of canon law, and revision of some recent rather prominent proclamations. Opening the diaconate to women on the other hand, does not require such a complicated process, nor is it ruled out by canon law (according to the Canon Law Society of America) but seems to be doable, reasonable next step.

    Petitioning for women deacons does not mean we have stopped calling for open discussion of women’s ordination to the priesthood. To the contrary, it could be one key to reopening the discussion in the worldwide church.

    www.futurechurch.org
    Sophie
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    RE: The Ordained Women's Diaconate 2007/07/11 07:00:58 (permalink)
     



    Dear friends,

    Join us by becoming a signatory to the Letter to the Pope that asks him to restore the women's diaconate to the Church. Be a part of global action. You can provide your endorsement via this link: Attach your signature here and view the list of many signatories so far through this link:  View Signatures.

    If you know of someone interested in supporting this action, pass the information about the Letter through this link:  Tell a Friend And, if you would like to share comments with the Holy Father, you can include them here: Add Comment

    If you have any questions, please let me know!

    with love and blessings,
    ~Sophie~
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    RE: Women in the Ordained Diaconate 2007/07/13 23:47:20 (permalink)
    Rain on the parade and bursted bubbles.

    The data gathered on the priesthood of women in antiquity are few and meager." And those that are found are contrary to the constant teaching of the Church at the time, including the four Councils and Pope Gelasius, cited by Otranto, besides many texts of the Fathers strongly reject women priests. So by no means do they prove at all that the teaching authority ever even once approved of attempting to ordain women as priests. In fact, even if Otranto had found a hundred times as many texts, they would prove only that there were abuses - they would not prove at all that the Magisterium of the Church had ever approved of the abuses at all.

    For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. (For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.) That is why a woman ought to have a veil on her head, because of the angels....If any one is disposed to be contentious, we recognize no other practice, nor do the churches of God." (1 Corinthians 11:3-10,16)
    post edited by Sophie - 2007/07/25 01:07:24
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