Thursday, October 8, 2015

Sign Petitions Asking Synod on the Family to Move Towards Gender Equality in Roman Catholic Church: Ordaining Women Deacons, A First Step

http://action.groundswell-mvmt.org/petitions/ask-the-synod-on-the-family-to-consider-greater-roles-for-women-in-the-church
Ordaining women deacons would make for “a more widespread and incisive female presence” in many aspects of Church life and ministry. Women deacons would be able to preside at baptisms and weddings as well as proclaim the Gospel and preach at Mass.
Having women ordained to serve in these roles would help bishops meet many of the Church’s ministerial needs in the face of the present priest shortage. Additionally, the presence of women in these roles would bring an urgently needed female perspective to our public worship and reflection on the Scriptures.
Ordaining women to the diaconate would not be new. Recent scholarship has shown that women were ordained to the diaconate in the Church in the West for 1200 years and to the present in the East. Women deacons number among ministers named in the Bible and manuscripts of medieval texts used by bishops include prayers and rituals for ordaining women to the diaconate. It is time to restore that tradition.

http://www.religionnews.com/2015/10/07/ordain-women-vatican-synod-gets-unexpected-proposal/
Still, even that suggestion — made by a Canadian archbishop on Tuesday (Oct. 6), near the start of the closely watched, three-week synod called by Pope Francis — was considered eye-popping.
That’s because if the trial balloon floated by Quebec Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher flies, it would represent a historic breakthrough for the Catholic Church, and Catholic women, by giving them access to the kinds of offices that only priests and bishops can hold.
Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, as he arrives in procession for the beatification Mass of Blessed Paul VI celebrated by Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on Oct. 19, 2014. Photo by Paul Haring, courtesy of Catholic News Service.
Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, as he arrives in procession for the beatification Mass of Blessed Paul VI celebrated by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican on Oct. 19, 2014. Photo by Paul Haring, courtesy of Catholic News Service.

 This image is available for web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.
“The only way a woman can fully ‘obtain’ many church offices is by ordination — by becoming a cleric — and the ordinary way to enter the clerical state is by ordination to the diaconate,” said Phyllis Zagano, a leading expert on women deacons and a researcher at Hofstra University in New York.

..."On the other hand, Francis is a pragmatist, and he noted in a talk to bishops on the last day of his visit that when the Apostles realized they couldn’t take care of the needs of all the widows and orphans, the Holy Spirit inspired them and “they got together and came up with deacons.”
Perhaps the pontiff will feel that same inspiration, this time blowing toward women deacons."

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