Thursday, August 23, 2012

Zagano Watch!*

Fr. Z must be out using his gift cards today and missed this one:
Evanston mom could be among the first in centuries to be ordained a deacon in Catholic Church...
"It's a message of hope. It's a way to stay within the boundaries of Catholic teachings and have women with real preaching authority within the system," said Phyllis Zagano, one of the American church's leading researchers on the subject of female deacons. "I think the bishops need to address this issue directly."
A handful of scholars, including Zagano, argues that the diaconate of the early church included both men and women. - Full story here.

Be gone!
I'm against it.

I may be mistaken, but I think the permanent diaconate has bigger issues to deal with.  For instance, the very, very traditional have 'reservations' regarding its post-Vatican II revival, not to mention the canonical argument over celibacy/continence requirements.  So the concept of women in albs may be a tad 'unattractive' to say the least.

I don't mind the revival of the permanent diaconate:  Men as permanent deacons - married or not - but they still seem to me to be like half a priest.  They can't hear confessions or give absolution - no matter how many academic degrees they have.  Only a priest can celebrate Mass, only a priest can hear confessions and impart absolution, and when I'm dying, I want a priest.

Women?  What to do with them?

Yeah, so... What to do about women?  I think that is a huge question for the 21st century... Unless Islam wins, how do you get Jeannie back into the bottle?

* Zagano Watch!  Is a fun reference to the woman - quoted in the article I link to - who (apparently) had once investigated, or, 'looked for dirt' on Fr. Z.  Her efforts elicited a very good job description on what he does, from Fr. Z himself.  That post here.  It's all good.

Some day I hope someone will publish a Terry Nelson Watch!  With all the dirt they can find on me.  Shouldn't be hard.  Do it on your own blog though. ;)


  1. "Unless Islam wins" ... Are you trying to say this is a good thing? The traditional role of women in even the most patriarchal Christian societies is nowhere near the same thing as the role of women in Islam.

    Is all of women's advancement in society a bad thing? Should we agree with his Illicitness Bishop Williamson and say that women's higher education is a waste of time? Should we disallow them from voting, teaching at universities, or holding leadership positions? Because I know of some fundamentalists - both Catholic and Protestant - who hold that those are great offenses against God, and that John Paul II was a heretic for writing Mulieris Dignitatem ...

  2. Of course not. you of all people should know better.

  3. Francis Cardinal George is supposed to be addressing her request with the appropriate authorities in Rome. If permission is granted, it would be a great day for the Church. Already the Greek Orthodox is considering the same move with some of its monastic women.

    1. I saw that - it will be interesting what develops - I doubt the very traditional will be happy - as I said, many question the permanent diaconate for married men - but you already know that.

  4. Archbishop Mueller CDF:

    ..."The Church does not ordain women, not because they are lacking some spiritual gift or natural talent, but because -- as in the sacrament of marriage -- the sexual difference and of the relation between man and woman contains in itself a symbolism that presents and represents in itself a prior condition to express the salvific dimension of the relation of Christ and the Church.

    ...."Q: Are there binding doctrinal declarations regarding the question of the feminine diaconate?

    Müller: The liturgical and theological tradition of the Church uses unanimous language. It is a binding and irreversible teaching of the Church on this matter, which is guaranteed by the ordinary and general magisterium of the Church, but which can be confirmed again with greater authority if the doctrinal tradition of the Church continues to be presented in an adulterated manner, for the purpose of forcing the evolution of a specific direction.

    I am amazed at the lack of historical knowledge of some, and the absence of the meaning of faith; if it wasn´t like this, they would know that it has never been possible and never will be to place the Church, precisely, in the central ambit of her doctrine and liturgy, in contradiction with sacred Scripture and her own Tradition."

  5. The entire Chicago Tribune story accurately reflects the conversation to date--one that the International Theological Commission requested in its 2002 study document. The matter of restoring women deacons (already allowed in the Orthodox Church of Greece) has been left to the Magisterium to decide on (again)--there is sufficient documentation from the ancient through the medieval church--liturgies, tombstones, literary records, papal letters--that women were ordained as deacons. The question is not if women can be ordained as deacons, but whether the church actually needs women to serve in that capacity in a totally separate vocation from priesthood.

    As for the man in question, no one has ever been able to verify his actual status, although he does not appear to have valid faculties within the United States.

    As you so rightly point out, "Futility or ineffectiveness do not dispense one from speaking the truth, declaring what is wrong, and standing for what is right and just." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

    1. Hi - thanks very much for your comment and pointing out the veracity of the recent discussions. God bless!



Please comment with charity and avoid ad hominem attacks. I exercise the right to delete comments I find inappropriate. If you use your real name there is a better chance your comment will stay put.