Friday, May 13, 2016

SOME CLARITY ON WHAT THE POPE SAID ABOUT DEACONESSES AND WHAT HE DID NOT SAY

Crux has a good article on the once again "off-the-cuff" chiacchierare of Pope Francis who spoke to a group of Women Religious yesterday. I really wonder if Pope Francis knows or gives a darn about what His Holiness' off-the-cuff chiacchierare  does to a minority of right and left wingnuts out there.

At any rate here are some excerpts that the secular press and many who comment here completely ignore:

The pope spent more than an hour May 12 responding to questions posed by members of the International Union of Superiors General, repeatedly asking if they wanted further clarification and making funny asides or rephrasing his responses when it was clear they were not hitting the mark.

Asked about deaconesses in the New Testament and the possibility of the modern church admitting women to the permanent diaconate, Pope Francis had said his understanding was that the women described as deaconesses in the Bible were not ordained like permanent deacons are.


Mainly, he said, it appeared that they assisted with the baptism by immersion of other women and with the anointing of women.


However, he said, “I will ask the (Congregation for the) Doctrine of the Faith to tell me if there are studies on this.”


In fact, the International Theological Commission, an advisory body to the doctrinal congregation, carried out such a study in 2002. Although its document did not rule out women deacons, it appeared to lean against it, arguing that “deaconesses” in the New Testament played a different role than deacons today, and that by now the diaconate is firmly part of the sacrament of Holy Orders.

(Did anyone read this in any secular news reports of this meeting yesterday????NO!!!) Pope Francis also promised to have the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments send the UISG a full explanation of why women cannot give a homily at Mass.

(My comments:) The rest of what Pope Francis said is true and anyone who is a member of any Catholic parish in the USA or Canada, pre-Vatican II or Post-Vatican II knows that women have always played an important ecclesiastical role in our parishes. Think of those who work administratively, think of those women who direct choirs and the music ministry, think of those women who coordinate Religious Education, run our schools, hospitals and other institutions. Think of those who minister in soup kitchens, work with the poor and are mothers. I am not sure what goes on in Italy or Europe of other parts of the Church in the 3rd world and beyond, but women are in positions of great authority in the Catholic parishes of the USA and are in the majority, not the men.

I do like what Pope Francis continues to repeat about clericalism too!

Here is the rest of the Crux article:

The main part of the question was about the lack of influence women religious are given in church decision-making processes. Pope Francis said the obligation to listen to women in the parish, diocese and at the Vatican “is not a matter of feminism, but of right.”

All the baptized — women and men, lay or consecrated — have been given gifts by the Holy Spirit for the good of the entire church, he insisted. The entire church suffers when some voices are excluded from the conversation, he said.

“Our desire is that the church talk with us — like is happening now — and not about us,” one of the sisters told him.

However, Pope Francis warned the sisters about the danger of clericalism, which he described as “a sinful attitude,” but one which is “like the tango, it takes two.” There are priests who see themselves as lords of the church, he said, but there also are women and laymen “who ask to be clericalized.”

On the other hand, the pope expressed concern about the number of consecrated women working as housekeepers for priests. Their work is that of “a servant, not of service,” he said, and that “undervalues their dignity.”

The sisters applauded when the pope suggested such priests pay local women in need of a job and let the sisters teach, care for the poor, heal the sick. “And when you superiors are asked (to assign a sister) for something that is more servanthood than service, be courageous and say ‘no.’”

While warning that “the devil enters through one’s pocket,” Pope Francis also urged the superiors to choose their treasurers well, be suspicious of “friends” who promise to invest and increase their money and to ensure that their evangelical poverty is a life of simplicity, not misery.

But many of the women burst out laughing when the pope told them that if their congregations are in serious financial need, they should turn to their local bishop. When they laughed, he jokingly suggested that they were saying their only hope is prayer, “give us this day our daily bread.”

Turning serious, Pope Francis insisted the vow of poverty is a matter of detachment from material goods and commitment to God and to the poor, “but it’s not suicide.”

26 comments:

Flavius Hesychius said...

I suspect the negative reaction from 'wingnuts' is not a result of what the Pope did or did not say; rather, I suspect it's a negative reaction to the issue being 'studied' at all. It is not unreasonable to expect Rome to give a straight and explicit answer for once, especially when, in the past, Rome has had no issue doing so. What's the problem now? What, exactly, needs 'studying'?

Or are you telling me that were Congress to 'study' whether or not the 1st amendment should continue to include religious freedom, you'd not react negatively?

Dialogue said...

Several Catholic news agencies provided accounts of what transpired that differ from what you've posted here, Father McDonald, so I think this is more than just an issue with the secular press.

I can't think of a single parish that is not led mostly by lay women. There are priests and deacons, of course, but it is mostly women who are in charge of the various ministries and apostolates of each parish. So, as usual, I'm not sure what the Holy Father is talking about.

Jan said...

It's a bit like science fiction really. What people once laughed about as being just the fantasies of wingnuts have slowly become reality over the years and we are no longer laughing. The wingnuts were right all along ...

So too with the Church, as the months and years go by the worst fears of wingnuts are actually becoming a reality and all those concerns expressed years ago are not so silly today. In reality, what serious Catholic is laughing now? The wingnuts have once again been proven right ...

It is only a matter of time before Fr McDonald will be reporting on wingnuts who are expressing concerns about the Congregation for the Faith being requested to look at whether there should be optional celibacy, whether in fact we need priests at all or whether the lay people can handle the job as they have been doing in parts of Holland over many years.

At this rate in a few years the only option for those who want to remain Catholic and attend Mass will be the Extraordinary Form Mass and the traditional orders who are preserving the Faith. Complacency and sitting back doing nothing is what has led us into the current state we're in. Deo gratias for the wingnuts I say ... in reality they are the only voice of sanity in the Church when everything is falling down and out.

Vox Cantoris said...

The Pope, misspoke, as usual.

We suffer for it.

They evolved to apostolic sisters and cloistered nuns.

They were some of the greatest women in history. They began the education system in Quebec and Ontario. They began the hospitals. They lead legions of women religious.

These feminazi religious today are only interested in one thing, lusting after something which they cannot have and he is not smart enough to see it.

Jesuit and other media priests are thinking this is just great.

Us right-wing blogger wingnuts are doing just fine.

End of story.

Jusadbellum said...

Quick, who was the bishop of Calcutta during the life time o Mother Theresa?
Anyone know the bishop of the diocese where EWTN is located? No? Neither do I.

But we know the two sisters don't we? So do billions of other people.

And yet...neither woman "had power" by virtue of ordination. They didn't have ecclesial POWER...they merely had spiritual AUTHORITY.

What is it that people want? The power to say "do this" or "change that" or the authority to guide people to the King whom we should all be serving?

Marc said...

Anyone know the bishop of the diocese where EWTN is located?

Bishop Foley is the emeritus -- he attempted to persecute EWTN in a few different ways, including preventing the broadcast of ad orientem Masses on television. Oddly enough, he celebrates a monthly high Mass at one of two diocesan TLM sites in Birmingham. We used to drive 3 hours roundtrip for Sunday Mass at that parish. He's quite old now, but I recall a really incredible sermon he gave a few years back on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. He's quite an enigma!

The current bishop of Birmingham, Bishop Baker, established a TLM-only personal parish in the northern part of his diocese. It's staffed by diocesan priests, but is a completely 1962 parish -- I've not seen or heard of anything like this in any other diocese.

rcg said...

Our Altar Rosary Society scrubs the floor of our nave on their knees. They was and fold the cloths and starch the collars, just so. The pews are hand rubbed to make then clean and ensure they last. Then they ascend the loft to assist the chant. These women prepare us not only physically, but spiritually by example.

Anonymous said...

Francis has planted to seed and now it is to late, the Holy Male Priesthood instituted by Our Lord Jesus Christ will be destroyed by this man, I'm sorry but this is truth and we must starting telling the truth folks.

Mark Thomas said...

From Aleteia.org, here is the transcript of Pope Francis' remarks yesterday about women deacons:

http://aleteia.org/2016/05/13/complete-transcript-of-pope-francis-remarks-on-women-deacons/

The headline and sub-head read (with their emphasis):

"Complete Transcript of Pope Francis’ Remarks on Women Deacons Challenge Initial Reports"

"The Holy Father’s full remarks actually seem to be signaling women NOT to expect a change, and to seek other possibilities"

I agree with that headline. That is what I had taken from the Pope's remarks in question.

I guess that I have read a different account of the Pope's remarks as I am unable to find anything in his remarks that corresponds to the radical spins that certain Traditionalists as well as members of the secular news media placed upon the Pope's comments.

What did His Holiness Pope Francis say yesterday in regard to women deacons that was even remotely radical? I am unable to find anything revolutionary in his remarks in question.

Pax.

Mark Thomas

rcg said...

I dont know that he misspeaks as much as that he presumes too much of the faithful. We should renew our faith through introspection daily, if possible. But i think it is possible to damage or crush tender growth. This is what causes me concern.

Mark Thomas said...

The question and answer session yesterday with His Holiness Pope Francis and the International Union of Superiors General:

http://saltandlighttv.org/blog/featured/uisg-president-issues-statement-on-meeting-with-pope-francis

By the way, I am surprised that Traditionalists did not pounce upon (in a good way) the following from yesterday when Pope Francis discussed the issue of women preaching at Mass:

"Then there is the problem of preaching at the Eucharistic Celebration. There is no problem for a woman – religious or lay – to preach in the Liturgy of the Word. There is no problem.

"But at the Eucharistic Celebration there is a liturgical-dogmatic problem, because it is one celebration – the Liturgy of the Word and the Eucharistic Liturgy, there is unity between them – and He Who presides is Jesus Christ. The priest or bishop who presides does so in the person of Jesus Christ. It is a theological-liturgical reality. In that situation, since women are not ordained, they cannot preside."

Liberals are not keen to report the above. That is understandable. But why have Traditionalists not seized upon Pope Francis' above comment? It is the matter of dogma that prohibits women from preaching and presiding at Mass. Dogma.

Is it that certain folks within the Church seek to publicize only those comments from Pope Francis that they believe can be twisted and made controversial? Is the idea to turn comment boxes into forums in which Super Trads can shout..."Pope Francis is a heretic...he's determined to overthrow the Church...he's satanic..."

Pax.

Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

There are liberals and Traditionalists who have spun the absurd notion that Pope Francis' remarks yesterday about women deacons opened the door to the ordination or women to the priesthood.

What liberals and Traditionalists failed to report is that His Holiness Pope Francis noted the following yesterday:

"The consecrated woman is an icon of the Church, an icon of Mary. The priest is not an icon of the Church; he is not the icon of Mary; he is an icon of the Apostles, of the disciples who were sent to preach. But not of the Church or of Mary.

"When I say this I want to make you reflect on the fact that “she” the Church is feminine; the Church is woman: it is not “he” the Church, it is “she” the Church.

"When a bishop is chosen for a diocese, the bishop — on behalf of Christ — marries that particular Church. The Church is woman! And a woman’s consecration makes her the very icon of the Church and icon of Our Lady. We men cannot do this. This will help you to deepen, from this theological root, a great role in the Church. I hope this does not elude you."

The Church rejects the notion that homosexual unions may in any fashion be placed on par with marriage. Therefore, as Pope Francis declared, a marriage exists between the priest and Church. The priest is a male. The Church is a woman. The Church teaches that the only marriage that is legitimate is one between a man and woman. A woman, for example, can not possibly marry a woman, according to Church teaching.

Therefore, in light of His Holiness Pope Francis, who has more than once highlighted the teaching that the Church Holy Mother Church, a woman, good luck with the ideas that...

1. Pope Francis will ordain women to the diaconate.

2. Pope Francis opened the door yesterday to admit women to the ordained priesthood.

Not gonna happen...either one.

Pax.

Mark Thomas

Marc said...

If we are to blindly follow the inspirations of the white-clad man in Rome, how are we different than the people who follow the inspirations given by Pastor Bob every Sunday down at First Baptist?

When we fail to pay heed to our tradition, we're just farming out our sola scriptura to a third party who happens to be in Rome, waiting to see what he comes up with next.

Marc said...

Mark, Catholics do not stand up and applaud everytime the pope happens to say something Catholic because, get this, he's the pope of the Catholic Church -- we should expect him to say Catholic stuff.

On the other hand, when he says things that aren't Catholic, we have to make some hay about that because, you know, he's supposed to be Catholic.

Mark Thomas said...

I noted the following on Vox Cantoris' great blog: Here is a glaring example of the manner in which the secular news media has misrepresented His Holiness Pope Francis and his remarks about women deacons.

National Public Radio has reported the following:

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/05/12/477816171/pope-francis-says-hes-open-to-studying-whether-women-can-be-deacons

"Francis' willingness to consider the issue of female clergy sharply contrasts with the views of his recent predecessors. As the National Catholic Reporter notes, "Pope John Paul II claimed in his 1994 apostolic letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis that 'the Church has no authority whatsoever' to ordain woman as priests, citing Jesus' choosing of only men to serve as his twelve apostles."

Let us examine whether that is true. The following is from Pope Francis' Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium:

104. "The reservation of the priesthood to males, as a sign of Christ the Spouse who gives himself in the Eucharist, is not a question open to discussion..."[73].

Footnote 73: "John Paul II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici (30 December 1988), 51: AAS 81 (1989), 413."

In Christifideles Laici, Pope Saint John Paul II twice declared that ordination to the ordained priesthood is forbidden to women.

In #49, women are "not called to the apostolate of the Twelve, and thereby, to the ministerial priesthood..."

#51. "In her participation in the life and mission of the Church a woman cannot receive the Sacrament of Orders, and therefore, cannot fulfil the proper function of the ministerial priesthood."

Therefore, National Public Radio misrepresented Pope Francis when NPR claimed that Pope Francis' understanding of the issue of "female clergy sharply contrasts with the views of his recent predecessors" including "Pope John Paul II."

The report in question is 100 percent false. Will our bishops demand that National Public Radio correct the false report in question? Or will NPR/secular news media be permitted without consequence to misrepresent Pope Francis to the public?

Just a few weeks ago during a news conference, Pope Francis noted that the news media have distorted the issue related to Holy Communion and divorced and "remarried" Catholics as well as Vatican II.

Not surprisingly, the news media are at it again in regard to the Pope and Church.

Pax.

Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

Marc said..."Mark, Catholics do not stand up and applaud everytime the pope happens to say something Catholic because, get this, he's the pope of the Catholic Church -- we should expect him to say Catholic stuff."

A certain faction within the Church has stacked the cards against His Holiness Pope Francis. They have rigged the game against him.

They demand that he reiterate this or that teaching. They demand that Pope Francis denounce abortion...genocide against Christians...reiterate that women may not become ordained priests, etc.

Then, when Pope Francis does so, the response is..."big deal...he's only doing what a Pope should do...I'm supposed to get excited when he upholds this or that teaching?...I should applaud when he promotes Church teaching?"

Pope Francis cannot possibly win. The game is rigged against him. It is akin to when a child says, for example, "if you toss the ball into this circle, you win the game". The other person does so. The child then say, "okay, now to win you have to toss the ball into the next circle"...then when the other person does so, the child adds a new condition.

The other person cannot possibly win the game. That is what Pope Francis faces in regard to certain people within the Church.
Pax.

Anyway, the actual words that Pope Francis had spoken yesterday, and not what liberals and traditionalists claimed that he had said yesterday, are not remotely radical/revolutionary. The transcript of the Pope's actual remarks demonstrate that.

As usual, certain folks, to advance this or that agenda, misrepresented Pope Francis and his statements.

Pax.

Mark Thomas

Dialogue said...

Rcg,

It's my understanding that he was never simply a parish priest, and that his experience of typical parish life is limited to his 1950's childhood. He's obviously and admirably devoted to paupers, and has a useful rapport with atheists and revolutionaries, but seems unable to understand and communicate with ordinary, faithful Catholics who love the rites, morals and dogmas of the Church. Even his sympathy for popular piety is very specific, focusing more on obscure and regional devotions that on the standard Adoration/rosary/scapular type devotions.

Mark Thomas said...

Marc said..."Mark, Catholics do not stand up and applaud everytime the pope happens to say something Catholic because, get this, he's the pope of the Catholic Church -- we should expect him to say Catholic stuff."

Marc, do you take that same stance during Mass when your priest reiterates for the millionth time this or that truth during his sermon? I do when my priest(s) does that.

Do you not "applaud" each time at Mass when you pray for the millionth time the Credo? You have, time and again, expressed your belief in the same teachings. Does that not uplift your heart?

Have you not applauded such Churchmen as Cardinal Burke and Bishop Schneider each time that they've said something Catholic? Or do you say, "big deal...they're just doing what is expected of a Cardinal/bishop?

Marc, we should be thankful each time Pope Francis, a Cardinal, bishop, priest, religious, laymen says something that is Catholic. After all, that may be the first time that somebody present may have encountered such a teaching...a teaching that could change their life dramatically and in the positive sense.

Marc, please. Let us say "Deo gratias", then applaud our Holy Father Pope Francis each time that he "says something Catholic".

Pax.

Mark Thomas

Marc said...

Mark, I only assist at the traditional Mass, so no I don't applaud my priests for doing their job and preaching the truth. Do you get a cookie every day at work for doing your duty?

Anonymous said...

Flee to the S.S.P.X. this storm is not going anywhere soon, pray to the Holy Ghost for a return to the Traditional Latin Mass and a Holy Pope.

MR said...

Fr Lombardi clarifies the Pope's remarks on women deaconesses:

“But one must be honest: The pope did not say he intends to introduce a diaconal ordination for women and even less did he speak of the priestly ordination of women,” he said. “In fact, talking about preaching during the eucharistic celebration, he let them know that he was not considering this possibility at all.”

MR said...

Here's the link:
http://www.cruxnow.com/cns/2016/05/13/pope-didnt-say-hed-ordain-women-deacons-spokesman-says/

Mark Thomas said...

MArc said..."Mark, I only assist at the traditional Mass, so no I don't applaud my priests for doing their job and preaching the truth. Do you get a cookie every day at work for doing your duty?"

Marc, I applaud your priests. Considering the collapse of the Faith, the amount of Catholics, clergy, religious, and laity who have betrayed Jesus Christ and His teachings, the fact that Satan delights in attacking priests...

...you better believe that I applaud each time that a Pope, Cardinal, bishop, priest, deacon proclaims the Truth as we are in desperate need of witnesses to the True Faith.

But most of all, on the greatest world stage of all, Rome, when His Holiness Pope Francis proclaims the Truth to the world, we should applaud and give thank unto God that unlike various "churches," our Church's chief shepherd on earth promotes the Culture of Life, which is the Truth.

Pax.

Mark Thomas

rcg said...

Dialogue, perhaps that is the answer Although I think it is simply a personailty trait. I know i have to consciously adjust my assumptions when dealing with people due to their world views. Something I state as plainly as possible, in my mind, is often interpreted in a totally alien manner, by choice or circumstances.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

There are many consecrated women in the Catholic Church, consecrated virgins is one of them. They are not ordained.

We speak of consecrating bishops but technically that is wrong, we ordain bishops. We can't say, though, that the Church ordains virgins.

Dialogue said...

Father McDonald,

It's my understanding that to "consecrate" simply means to make creatures holy or sacred, so the term seems to apply in different contexts. To "ordain" simply means to set within an order, so this term applies both to sacramental ordination and to the ancient (non-sacramental) minor orders.