Wednesday, August 3, 2016
TO BE A DEACONESS OR NOT TO BE A DEACONESS: THAT IS THE QUESTION? AND JUST WHAT IS A DEACONESS?
None the less, I find it a bit contradictory that Pope Francis decries gender ideology and yet seems to allow those in the Church who promote it for women's ordination, be it deacons or priests or bishops, to have their day in court with deaconesses and the women's ideology that surrounds its promotion which is usually based upon power grabs and not service.
This is what the pope said about gender ideology:
In remarks delivered last week, Pope Francis said ideologies that profess children can “choose their gender” constitute the very “annihilation of man as image of God.”
“Today, in schools they are teaching this to children – to children! – that everyone can choose their gender,” Francis said, according to a transcript released on Tuesday by the Vatican, The Associated Press reported.
The pontiff was addressing bishops in a closed-door meeting during his pilgrimage to Poland last week when he made the remarks.
He said he wanted to conclude the meeting by reflecting on how we “are living a moment of annihilation of man as the image of God.”
Francis said “ideological colonization” is being advanced by “very influential countries,” which he declined to name. One such colonization includes that of “gender.”
But then this is what what Reuters is reporting about the planned discussion on women deaconesses (I know that is redundant) but they aren't using the term women deacons which I think is important and has implications:
Pope Francis has set up a commission to study the role of women deacons in early Christianity, the Vatican said on Tuesday, raising hopes among equality campaigners that women could one day have a far greater say in the Roman Catholic Church.
The Church bans women from all but a few decision-making roles (so it is all about power isn't it, not Christian service which is what deacons and deaconesses were about in the early Church, waiting on tables!)and the pope and his predecessors have ruled out allowing them to become priests. But advocates said Francis's move might make it easier for a future pope to study whether to allow that.
Deacons, like priests, are ordained ministers, and, as in the priesthood, they must be men. They cannot celebrate Mass but they are allowed to preach and teach in the name of the Church and to baptize and conduct wake and funeral services.
The Church barred women from becoming deacons centuries ago.
Scholars debate the precise role of women deacons in the early Church. Some say they were ordained to minister only to other women, such as at immersion rites at baptism. Others believe they were on a par with male deacons.
A Vatican statement said the pope had chosen a group of six men and six women, led by a chairman, who is a bishop, "after intense prayer and mature reflection".
Most of the group are theologians and university professors. Of the six women, two are nuns and four are lay people.
Professor of theology and ministry at Boston College, Father James Bretzke, said the pope had "shown he is very much his own person. He is respectful of his colleagues and of his predecessors but he's not shackled by them".
"I think genuinely he's looking forward now, saying women have to have a greater role in the Church," said Bretzke, who, like the pope, is a member of the Jesuit order.
The Women's Ordination Conference, which advocates for a female priesthood in Catholicism, said it was encouraged by the fact that the group was gender-balanced and included lay people.
The group called the pope's decision "an important step for the Vatican in recognizing its own history of honoring women's leadership", because Biblical and historical evidence cited several women leaders working alongside men in the early Church.
"Only when women are equally included in all ordination rites - as deacons, priests, and bishops - and at all Church decision-making tables, can we begin to restore our Gospel values of equality and justice," the campaign group said.
© 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.
My final comment: The last paragraph of the article above says it all--its about power, power to make decisions? But what kinds of decisions? It is about gender ideology, "equality and justice" because there shouldn't be any differences between men and women and a woman can choose to be a male and have all the power in the world. I won't get crass here, but is does strike me as a certain kind of envy! Is Pope Francis unwittingly or wittingly particpating in the very thing His Holiness decries? Gender ideology anyone?