LADIES – WE STILL DON’T COUNT! — Sure the Church needs us to do all the grunt work, and to keep spreading the word of God — but never in any official capacity. Even the holy women who have dedicated their lives as nuns are suspect, and subject to investigation.
The Pope commissioned a council to explore historical evidence to determine if women in the early Catholic Church were ordained Deacons using the same rites as those used to ordain men. That council has finished its deliberation and handed Pope Francis an opinion.
The “Faithful” (parishioners in the pew) have not been privy to the details of this report, nor have they been told if there was any “decision” by the group concerning evidence of women’s historical role in the early years of the Church.
On May 7, with no fanfare and almost no press coverage, The Pope announced his conclusion: the historical evidence is not dispositive. Pope Francis “does not see historical evidence of ordained female deacons”
FutureChurch, and other reform organizations respectfully disagree. FutureChurch has been educating and advocating for women deacons for over 15 years. The organization provided the link (above) so Catholics can read the evidence for themselves. Clearly, the evidence shows women were ordained as deacons with the same rite as men in the early Church. This evidence exists in spite of the efforts of many Popes over the centuries to eradicate the evidence of the equal status of women and to demean their contributions (for example mis-branding Mary Magdalene as a woman of ill repute).
Voice of the Faithful, another Catholic Church group advocating for reform, offers a factual summary of the Pope’s actions: http://www.votf.org/content/vineyard-may-13-2019. The article quotes the hopeful spin put on the “lack of conclusive evidence” statement of the Pope by theologian Phyliss Zagano, “He is trying to bring out discussion. I think he’s calling on the bishops to talk about this, and challenging them.” Rather than ignoring the obvious, the reform advocacy group pointed out the glaring ridiculousness of calling for a commission in the first place,
Rather than relying on what women deacons did historically, the Church needs to assess what an ordained women’s diaconate could do today. If the focus is on what was done in the “early” Church, the evidence of women ministering in the first-century Church is overwhelming. The Church cannot afford today to continue to be wedded to traditions that limit the people of God.”
Do leaders of the Catholic Church need to be reminded their foremost responsibility is to serve the servants of the Lord? The main task facing the Church today is to rectify its own irrelevance in the lives of the Faithful.
© Jane F. Collen May 24, 2018
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