"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Consecrated Virgins, Carthusian Nuns, Armenian and Coptic Nuns - I wonder what they would think when some cleric patronizingly refers to them as 'deaconettes'?

After her solemn profession or perpetual donation,
the nun can, if she wishes, receive the Consecration of Virgins. 
This is a special rite where the Bishop gives the nun not only the veil and ring, 
external signs of an indissoluble union with the divine Spouse, 
but also the stole. This confers on the recipient certain liturgical privileges the most 
significant of them being the proclaiming of the Gospel on certain occasions.

Fr. Z is showing his clericalist-slip again.

He really cuts down women.  Z writes about the big news yesterday that the Pope has "considered establishing a commission to study the issue of the ordination of woman as deaconesses…. (aka deaconettes -it’s easier to pronounce)."

It's easier to pronounce alright.

And then his clericalist-slip gets to the point ....

Talk about a slip ...
Some feminine observations about deaconesses (aka deaconettes).
Although… that brings up an interest thought. WERE the ordination of women to be approved, even though they didn’t have any sacramental ministry or liturgical role in the ancient Church, I bet we would suddenly see a huge increase in Pontifical Masses in the older, traditional rite! I foresee massive expeditures – not for the poor, but for glorious vestments in gold and silk, the sort that haven’t been produced for over a century. It would suddenly be discovered that splendid lace albs are actually notevil after all. I can see now the consultants pouring in from the AME and the Anglicans to offer their help. And pause to consider the fantastic new head gear possibilities! - Z
For more information on the history of deaconesses in the Eastern Church, as well as in Carthusian Monasticism, please visit and read here.

For a better understanding of what the Holy Father said and all that entails, check out Jimmy Akin's article at NCRegister here.

Demeaning women.

Obviously Fr. Z is being facetious - but he's also feeding his anti-papist trolls, as well as creating controversy with those darn liberals who persecuted him in the seminary - especially those religious women in secular dress who may have had something to do with vocations or formation in the archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis.  That is understandable I suppose - but 25 years is a long time to carry a grudge.

Ostensibly Fr. Z attempts to put his readers fears to rest with his posts - but he's also stirring the pot.  Not a few Z-ites and those ultra-traditional types who follow him are not exactly crazy about the role of permanent deacon either - married men in Holy Orders - these developments kinda sets their teeth on edge.

Nothing has even happened yet.
Pope Francis "was asked if he would establish 'an official commission' to study the question of women deacons. 
He replied: 'I accept. It would be useful for the Church to clarify this question. I agree.'" - source

The Holy Father simply agreed with the question and made it clear he a commission to study the possibility would be useful - and people freak out - while on other sites they throw more stones at the Holy Father.

Don't forget: Fr. Z needs your Donations, PayPal alternatives, and for the umpteenth time, (he) his blog needs serious work.

(He) foresees massive expeditures – not for the poor, 
but for glorious vestments in gold and silk, 
the sort that haven’t been produced for over a century.

That's what he said.  I'm sure he's just being facetious of course.


  1. On the other hand, Terry, is it really fair to say, "people freak out"? In view of what happened with the Synod on the family, can't people be legitimately concerned about what this new commission will do? I'm old enough to remember the papal birth control commission that contributed to the massive confusion over birth control and Pope Paul's long delay in correcting its errors. This pope has contributed one confusing situation after another. In view of several generations of bad catechetics, and this pope's penchant for confusion, I'd say legitimate concern is a rational response. After all, many of those member congregations of the International Union of Superiors General are the same ones Donna Steichen wrote about in Ungodly Rage. LCWR is a member. I wonder how many representatives they had at the meeting. I could not confirm that the orthodox Council of Major Women Superiors was there. I have a call into their organization to ask. But the dissenters are chortling!

    1. I probably should have written 'concerned' rather than 'freak out'. As you noted it is a can of worms - but the Pope is doing exactly what should be done - considering a commission to clarify - officially - Catholic teaching. Though PPVI suffered much to exact Catholic teaching on birth control - it happened. The Church and the Holy Father suffer these things. To live in fear of the contest is non-productive. Francis deals with these things honestly. That said, there is another good article on the subject at CNA - with this quate from the Holy Father:

      "“To me it seems useful to have a commission that clarifies this well, above all regarding the ancient times of the Church.” - P.Francis, CNA


      It's a balanced article and takes no pot shots at women religious, nor does it demean their role or the concept of some form of 'diaconate' role for women - in fact the Holy Father sees that as already fulfilled by nuns in diocesan ministry.

      I say let dissenters 'chortle'. The Holy Spirit guides the Church, Christ is it's Head.

    2. "I probably should have written 'concerned' rather than 'freak out'. As you noted it is a can of worms - but the Pope is doing exactly what should be done - considering a commission to clarify - officially - Catholic teaching"

      Freak out is exactly right ... on both sides. I will be praying and trusting.

      Viva il Papa!

  2. New commission will do? What commission? It has not even been set up yet and already the hand wringing has begun. How about praying instead that our Holy father remain steadfast in the faith, that he not falter, that our Lady continue to lead him along the path of his predecessors? How about reading very carefully what was actually reported since already, the headlines have been distorted and misrepresented.

    Yesterday, Mr. Pentin seems to have gotten it right as far as what our Holy Father actually said, that he was open to the idea of a commission to study the role of women deacons in the EARLY CHURCH." He was also quoted as saying the question needed more clarification.

    Here's Fr. Lombardy since both sides of the aisle are pulling their hair out:

    (Vatican Radio) The Director of the Holy See’s Press office, Father Federico Lombardi, said Pope Francis did not say in his remarks to the Heads of female religious orders and congregations that he intends to introduce the ordination of women and even less the ordination of women as priests.
    During the hour and a half long conversation about the mission and ministry of women in religious life, the Pope responded to several delicate questions, including one where he was asked what prevents the Church from including women among the permanent deacons, just like during the early Church. In his reply, the Pope said understanding about the role of female deacons in the early Church remained unclear and agreed with the sisters that it would be useful to set up a Commission to study the question.

    I get it Terry.

    1. Thanks for adding that Yaya!

  3. Now I know I am not Mr. Theology....but what difference does this make..even if their were Deaconess? How does that change anything..how does that change the Mass or the Faith? I don't really care one way or another...(as I have never even seen a Deacon..) but its almost like these people can't stand anything to "CHANGE" at all. They just hate change period, even if it doesn't change anything.

    I mean we lived through Nuns in leotards doing ballet and that didn't change anything...we lived through those creepy Jesus illustrations with the overly long fingers and we lived though bible quotes on felt post everywhere...

    However, I could be wrong (not that that has ever happened before) and someone could explain it for me and it might change something.

    1. If it happens that women are given the role or title of deaconess - it won't be the same as ordained deacons and priests. At the most they could witness a marriage and baptize and proclaim the Gospel and preach. I think that can happen now in situations without a priest. I'm not sure about witness a marriage, but baptism can be administered by lay ministers.

      As for the leotard nuns, I used to make fun of capri-pant nuns - but I have found out they do very good work for parishes - mine being one of them. They are faithful witnesses to the Gospel. Women religious are consecrated women but not necessarily 'nuns' in the monastic sense. They are consecrated lay-women. Their mission and apostolate has changed and new orders are growing up to take their old apostolates and live a more semi-cloistered life. It all works.

    2. Mack, I'm sorry you had to endure nuns in leotards doing ballet.


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