Friday, October 27, 2017

Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa Will Reinstate Order of Women Deacons, Is the Roman Catholic Church Ready to Reinstate Women Deacons too?

"The reinstitution of the female diaconate does not constitute an innovation..but the revitalisation of a once functional ministry'

The Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria and all Africa is to reinstitute the ancient order of women deacons, in order to better serve the pastoral needs of the Patriarchate, which serves the entire continent of Africa.
The Patriarchate of Alexandria is currently meeting for its two-day synod, where participants led by Pope Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, are discussing “The very essential African issue: Ecclesiastical Marriage in African Affinity."  
A group of nine prominent Greek Orthodox liturgists – who describe themselves as active and emeriti professors of liturgics and liturgical theology at various theological schools and seminaries in Greece and the US – has since issued a statement in support of the move.
“The reinstitution of the female diaconate does not constitute an innovation, as some would have us believe, but the revitalisation of a once functional, vibrant, and effectual ministry in order to provide the opportunity for qualified women to offer in our era their unique and specific gifts in the service of God’s people,” they write on their blog, Panorthodox Cemes
The group point out that the restoration process requires that the role and functions of the deaconess be “identified, properly defined, and clearly stated”. They also suggest that the public attire and the method of assignment and removal of the deaconess must be addressed.
In May last year, Pope Francis told an international group of women and men religious that the Catholic Church needed women’s voices, input, and experiences.
He went on to say that although women could be appointed as heads of some offices of the Vatican curia, that would not be enough to “recover the role” that women should have in the Catholic Church.
What was important was ensuring that women had a voice and are listened to because the Church needs their specific richer, stronger, and intuitive contributions, he said. He added that the Church needed the “feminine genius”.
Francis also told the International Union of Superiors General (UISG), who were meeting in Rome in May 2016, that it was unclear to him what role female deacons had played during early Christianity. "It would do good for the church to clarify this point," he said in comments reported by the National Catholic Reporter. "
Bridget Mary's Response: Yes, the groundswell is building! Notice women deacons are being reinstated in the Greek Orthodox Church!  The Vatican may follow the example of the Patriarch of Alexandria. 
I believe that women deacons will be  a step toward the full equality of women in Sacred Orders in the Roman Catholic Church! Our international Roman Catholic Women Priests Movement will continue to grow and flourish as a renewed model of  priestly ministry in a community of equals. The full equality of women in all roles in an inclusive church where all are welcome is our mission! This is the holy shakeup that I desire for the church I love- all of us living Gospel compassion, justice and equality- as we follow the example of Jesus who called both women and men as disciples and treated them as equals. Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP,

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