Pope Francis creates commission to study history of female deacons

Pope Francis embraces Sister Carmen Sammut, a Missionary Sister of Our Lady of Africa during an audience with women religious orders recently. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Pope Francis embraces Sister Carmen Sammut, a Missionary Sister of Our Lady of Africa during an audience with women religious orders recently. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pope Francis has created a commission to study the historical role of female deacons in the Catholic Church, the Vatican’s press office said Monday.

The commission was first promised by the Pope after a meeting with a group of nuns on May 12. He said the Vatican should study the question of ordaining women as deacons, answering a call that women, particularly in the United States, have been asking the church to address for decades.

“Pope Francis expressed his intention to establish an official commission that could study the question” of the diaconate of women, “especially with regard to the first ages of the Church,” the Vatican’s statement said. “After intense prayer and mature reflection, Pope Francis has decided to institute the Commission for the Study of the Diaconate of Women.”

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17 Comments

  1. The truth
    August 4, 2016

    I believe the Pope should look into priest getting married to avoid sex scandals. Those who want to allow it and those who do not its ok. It would prevent us to see the priest in a diffrent light and not only as spiritual leader who should not be caught in certain activities.

  2. Tell the Facts
    August 3, 2016

    It is only a commission to study the history of deacons. It does not mean he will eventually ordain women as deacons.
    Nowhere in the Holy Bible does it state that those women in the ancient days performed what the current deacons perform.
    If only some people, as religious as they appear to be would “think God.” If only they would pray to God for discernment and ask Him, is this what you would like for your Church and what you want of me? Oh No! They merely think and blab their mouths, saying it is a modern society. Well, “Jesus Christ is still the Same, Yesterday, Today and Forever.” Give this a thought.
    Give some people an inch they want/take a foot. I am wondering if God is pleased with those who try to force the Pope, demand of him that he should ordain women as deaconess.
    Soon they will want to be Pope, Archbishop, Bishop and Priest, placing divisions and disunity in the Church. The latter two are not Christian-like; ungodly.

  3. Tell the Facts
    August 3, 2016

    No one is more of an expert about the Catholic Church than the Catholic Church.
    These supposedly new deaconess, if any are ordained, want to perform exactly what the male deacons perform.
    If they talk of ancient days according to the Old Testament, it was not so. Therefore, let no one misinterpret what is contained in the Old Testament to suit their mentality.
    Through the years those as Calvin, Luther and Henry VIII took the Bible from the Catholic Church which they had as its members. They took off chapters/verses from it and made changes. Thus the reason why the protestants do not believe all what the One Holy Catholic Church believes and teaches.
    As stated by a US Catholic Host of the program: “The Holy Bible must be read in the context of Sacred Tradition.
    Calvin, Luther and other protestants made changes to the Holy Bible throughout the years.”
    St. Paul: “Hold steadfast to the tradition that you were taught, either by Word or by letter.”

  4. Anonymouse
    August 3, 2016

    Man is lost without Woman.

    • Tell the Facts
      August 3, 2016

      Not necessarily. You should study the Holy Bible, the Old and New Testaments.

      • Anonymouse
        August 4, 2016

        I have. No wonder you-all interprete bible for others and translate it as Adam and Steve. I am not at all surprised you have followers.
        You are lost without Woman. Lost!

      • Affa
        August 5, 2016

        Ugly isn’t it?
        Considering they were re-written by dirty stinking men who were preoccupied with making the world into male dominated societies, thereby removing most references to women from the new version. Except for one, Mary, the mother of Christ. The name Mary was most likely the name of the mother of King James, a man who was also preoccupied with enslaving half of humanity, justifying the dirty deeds by removing all references to Africa where all of these biblical occurrences took place and banning the books that he commissioned the revisions to be taken from.
        I suggest you change your name from ‘Tell the Facts’ to ‘Study the Facts’.

  5. Me
    August 2, 2016

    Excellent news for the church.

    • Tell the Facts
      August 3, 2016

      As a Catholic I question that. We reside in an era that women want to be in everything. They want to wear the pants ever since they commenced wearing pants. They could command respect without wearing them. Due to this, some of their children have gone astray; others are going astray. God will hold them accountable. Just telling it like it is. Something to think about.
      St. Paul said: “Remain where God has placed you.” Is anyone paying attention?
      The Church Hierarchy is not wrong if it does not have women deaconess. It can do without them.
      Some women serve as Eucharistic Ministers, Church, office managers and assistants. It is not that they are discriminated against.
      I feel women were created for a main purpose; not many of those purposes.
      Ask yourself. Why did God create man and woman?
      Pope Francis had stated, “There are already women in the Church. They are the Nuns” who could serve as Deaconesses without this title.

  6. August 2, 2016

    Let it be noted that the Pope is appointing a commission to study the “history of female deacons” not what the New Testament says about female deacons.

    The New Testament was written in Greek. The Greek language had one word for “deacon” which meant servant, and it was the same for male of female. There was no different word if it was a female.

    It is obvious the church in the first century had female deacons. The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Rome “I commend unto you Phoebe our sister, which is a deacon of the church at Cenchrea.” (Romans 16:1) Paul trusted this female deacon with an awesome responsibility. She made a trip to Rome about 600 miles away on business. Was it church business? It may have been because Paul instructed the church in Rome to help her in whatever type of business it was. But more important. Phoebe carried with her – and delivered – Paul’s lengthy letter (epistle) to the church in Rome!

    • August 2, 2016

      Continued:

      Paul referred to Phoebe as “a servant of the church” not “the servant of the church” suggesting there were more than one.

      He calls her “a succorer of many” meaning a helper. According to the history from that time the Greek word for “succorer” could refer to a government position and be one who would help newcomers to the community – in this case to the parish. The word is borrowed and applied to a church worker who helped newcomers to the congregation get settled in.

      Paul said a deacon must be “the husband of one wife”. (1 Timothy 3:12). Given the fact Phoebe was a woman this can only mean a deacon must not be in a polygamous marriage. It would apply to either gender.

      History tells us that deacons served communion. They also helped people prepare for their baptism by dressing appropriately, and assisting them as they came up out of the water. The female deacons were especially appreciated by the ladies who were being baptised.

      • August 2, 2016

        The first example of deacons being ordained is in Acts 6:1-6 where seven men were chosen by the congregation to care for a certain ongoing business responsibility in the church. They were ordained by the apostles with the laying on of hands and prayer which shows it was taken seriously. It does not call these men deacons but it does say what they did.

        It appears it was the responsibility of deacons – male or female – to assist the pastors/elders in
        whatever way they were needed so the pastors/elders could better serve the spiritual needs of the church.

        Since female deacons were allowed in the church in the first century A.D. and beyond that
        it is a mystery how they were ever lost. And what is the Pope doing now trying to find out what
        “history” says? The question should be what does the New Testament – the Word of God – say :!: What did the Apostles mandate? What did the Christians do during the first hundred years?

        Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist.

    • Rev. Donald Hill I an sure that you are a messenger of God to our people, we desperately need His Word, by which can receive knowledge of Him Jesus said to us: \”It is the Spirit that gives Life; the flesh profits nothing; the Words which I speak are Spirit and they are Life\” John 6: 63 He is speaking those Words of Life through you and through me –by the Power of His Holy Spirit

      Please continue with obedience to Him, to do His work of Salvation for fellow Dominicans, do not allow the enemy, in them, to frustrate that work which God is doing through you.

      Hold on to the Power of His Holy Spirit by which you can function–let God\’s work be done through you for His glory and His alone.

      • August 4, 2016

        Graceful&WiseLiving4Elohim:

        Thank you for your kind words of encouragement.

        Like yourself I sometimes am not appreciated for speaking the truth as it is found ONLY in the Holy Scriptures.

        Continue to tell people what the WORD says. When you stand at The Judgement Seat of Christ the Lord Jesus will say “Father, she spoke for us in the evil day.”

        Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist.

  7. why
    August 2, 2016

    why is this important to Dominicans in process of uplifting themselves?

    • @why August 2, 2016

      I fully agree with your question! There is no significance to this project, it will do nothing for Salvation, which is the central need through our Relationship with Christ Jesus. The Pope, especially this present one, has no idea what is his mission in this world . He is completely about works, such as this project, which does not motivate faith–the Spiritual Channel; by which God can do His work in us, and through us.

    • August 4, 2016

      This is a good question and I am glad you asked it because some questions are totally non-relevant.

      A church that is set in scriptural order and running full throttle by the ongoing influence of its ministry will contribute to the betterment of the community.

      It will inspire, encourage, and equip individual Dominicans from week to week as they seek to uplift themselves, in other words as they work to reach their full potential.

      This is what a pastor wants for his people. The church best does this when the pastor has the staff he needs. It has been my observation through the years that some work in the church is best done by a woman especially when it comes to helping other women and young people. But there are other tasks a
      female deacon would do as well.

      It is all about providing the best possible service for God’s people to help them reach God’s highest purposes for their lives.

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist.

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