Another unhappy feminist turns on Francis

Despite all the MSM and catholic media hoopla, brouhaha and hullabaloo in the wake of Pope Francis’ impromptu remarks about studying the notion of deaconesses (aka deaconesses), I don’t think much is going to happen.

Neither does a writer at The Guardian:

Pope Francis is a master at playing to the crowd. But we won’t get female deacons


Initial, breathless media reports that suggested the pope was on the verge of allowing women to be ordained as deacons: “Francis’ openness to studying the possibility of women serving as deacons could represent an historic shift for the global Catholic church, which does not ordain women as clergy.”

As much as I would like to believe it, that’s not going to happen.

Francis is the master of being all things to all people, using “off the cuff” remarks to sound progressive but changing nothing when it comes to actual church rules.

Remember Francis’ comment in 2013 about homosexual people: “who am I to judge?” Francis’ teaching on the family released last month did not remove the church’s judgement that homosexual people are disordered.  [Ummm… that’s not what the Church teaches, but let’s move on.]

In this case, the pope isn’t just playing to the crowd; he’s setting them up for disappointment. [No, this is also wrong.  There is no “crowd” who wants this.  There are a few people here and there.] The pope says the role of ordained women deaconesses is unclear and he will ask the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to study it.

Great! I’m guessing they’ll start with their 2002 report, From the Diakonia of Christ to the Diakonia of the Apostles. Its conclusion? Deaconesses in the early church “were not purely and simply equivalent to the deacons.” [If they truly “study” the question, they can’t ignore that document.]

Then the CDF will likely move on to the book Priesthood and Diaconate, written by its head, Cardinal Gerhardt Mueller. It also determines that there is no equivalence between deaconesses and male deacons in the early church. [If they honestly study the notion, they can’t ignore that book.]

The point? There is zero chance that this study, by this congregation headed by this cardinal, is going to find some theological basis that women can be ordained permanent deacons today. [Yep.]

More likely we are going to hear the usual “feminine genius” and “complementarity of the sexes” claptrap. You know: women deacons played a particular role. They were a minor deaconate. They were not equivalent to men. They were only ordained in the early church to minister to women (eg, baptise them by full immersion when it would have been improper for men to see a woman naked). There is no need for such a ministry now. Their ordination did not equal “holy orders.” Blah, blah, blah. [In other words, she doesn’t like “reality”.]

I hope I’m wrong. Forty years of being a Catholic feminist tells me I’m not going to be. [Nope.  You are not wrong.]

I’m not alone. [Indeed not!  There are tens of supporters for this!] The Women’s Ordination Conference, [which could also be Conference for the Ordination of Women…] while welcoming the study, notes that in the same meeting with the women, Pope Francis repeated the church’s argument that women cannot act “in the person of Christ” and therefore cannot preach or preside over the Eucharist. The conference commented:

WOC rejects this flawed interpretation that a male body is a necessary condition representing the Body of Christ. Upholding this discrimination, as though it were the will of God, is simply indefensible.  [God discriminates all the time, by the way.]


So, another unhappy feminist turns on Francis.

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  1. germangreek says:

    But, but, … the Women’s Ordination Conference rejected the Pope’s flawed interpretation! So surely it’s only a matter of time!

  2. Father K says:

    “off the cuff” remarks to sound progressive but changing nothing.’ Not sure he actually wants to sound progressive but in fact he does and this results in certain people getting upset because nothing changes. Fr Lombardi should be given an award for his avocation saying, ‘this what the Pope meant….’ To be a spokesman is one thing to be an interpreter is quite another.

  3. Henry Edwards says:

    “There are tens of supporters for this!”

    Maybe even dozens!

  4. Joan M says:

    Pope Saint John Paul II already had looked ijto this and rightly came to the conclusion there cannot be female deacons. This cannot change. Much as I would like Pope Francis would stop making tatements with little or noforethought. If it should ever happ hat ge makes a heretical statement he would probably immediately suffer the consequences. Homosexual acts still remain mortally sinful, as the church has always taught.

  5. Father P says:

    Perhaps we finally have the “hermeneutic” to understand the oft repeated “who am I to judge?”from Pope Francis and what “openness to dialogue and compromise” means for the lefty-libs (only picking on them because that’s the context of this post).

    So “Who am I to judge?” means what it always has meant. Hate the sin, love the sinner.

    And “openness to dialogue and compromise” means “I want what I want when I want it in the way I want and I want you to give it to me now”

  6. polycarped says:

    Silly WOC.

  7. Lavrans says:

    Her analysis (not her opinions), I concur with. It isn’t possible, and His Holiness did indeed state that a woman cannot stand “in personae Christi” at Mass, which means they cannot give homilies (which deacons can indeed do). While I welcome a firm statement regarding the unity of Holy Orders (diaconate, presbyterate, episcopate) and thus the exclusion of women as deacons, I wish it could have come about in a less “exciting” manner.

  8. Binker67 says:

    It’s interesting, and becoming increasingly apparent that the liberal media are cottoning onto the reality of Pope Francis’ Pontificate
    ‘Pope Francis is a master at playing to the crowd. ‘
    It is fascinating to observe the psychology of Francis. His need to coment. His ‘from the hip’ response to every question asked of him.
    The subtle ‘let’s allow this idea to run.’ and see where it goes.
    Yet I have to ask myself this:if I look closely at the Church since March 2013, and listen to all the ‘changes’ and ‘reform’ that need to happen in The Church;the weeding out of corruption and the corrupt in the Church, I have to say that I find very little evidence of any of this taking place.

    There is an old English nursery rhyme which goes:

    A man of words and not of deeds, is like a garden, full of weeds.

    The thing is, for most human beings, be they people of faith or not, words matter, they matter a lot, and the Holy Father needs to realise that his constant dialogue has to begin to actually go somewhere and mean something.
    At the moment it’s all just noise. Not to many of us the noise that we want to hear, but still just noise.
    Pope Francis is famously quoted as encouraging others to go and make a mess.
    The problem with the messey garden, is that beautiful plants and features can become overgrown and lost, and nasty surprises can lurk in the undergrowth. The view can become obscured and people can get lost in the garden.
    Whilst some of us would like to help in the garden, we’re unsure what the present head gardener’s plans really are. Some of the junior gardeners think, they know what his plans are and are encouraging the weeds to grow and spread
    Many of the other junior gardeners are following some previous head gardener’s gardening manual and continue to water and weed their part of the garden, despite the creeping weeds.
    Weeds matter, they matter a lot, even today in our unpastoral urban lives, because we all know, that a head gardener should know his weeds from his flowers.
    The secular media are beginning to notice that there is a lot of talk and no action.
    I pray that nothing nasty leaps out from the overgrown garden and bites the gardener.
    If it does, the gardener will find few who will listen to him or understand his method of overseeing the garden of the Church, in the secular media.

  9. JabbaPapa says:

    The point? There is zero chance that this study, by this congregation headed by this cardinal, is going to find some theological basis that women can be ordained permanent deacons today. [Yep.]

    Notice she actively does not want any sort of Deaconesses as they actually were … oh no, it’s wimmin “permanent deacons” or nothing.

    Ironically enough for all these “Spirit of Vatican II” types, it’s precisely a Vatican II document that most strictly reserves that Diaconate to men :

    Lumen Gentium 29 : De consensu Romani Pontificis hic diaconatus viris maturioris aetatis etiam in matrimonio viventibus conferri poterit, necnon iuvenibus idoneis, pro quibus tamen lex coelibatus firma remanere debet. (using the Latin because it has been translated into the English with the all too frequent vagueness and ambiguity of that era, in a clear attempt by the English-speaking 1960s clergy to provide wiggle room concerning the exclusive masculinity of this particular Ministry)

  10. RAve says:

    I enjoyed this blog entry way too much. Should I go to Confession?

  11. Nan says:

    I had a conversation with a Lutheran colleague, who wanted to know what I thought about what Francis said. I thought she was talking about deaconettes but asked what she meant in case I’d missed something. Yes, deaconettes. I gave the explanation that study was unlikely to change anything as there were no historic sources indicating the deaconettes existed for anything other than propriety’s sake and that because Jesus ordained men only, despite the women right there with Him, including His mother, Francis wouldn’t change a thing. I skipped the part about lacking the appropriate equipment to stand in Persona Christi .

  12. LeeF says:

    Father said: God discriminates all the time, by the way.

    They fail to grasp this fundamental point, which is 2 fold: 1) God made us and made the rules, 2) we can’t fully understand the why of things that are not revealed. To attempt to “out-reason” God, we both judge Him, who is our Judge, and also make an idol of our own understanding. For their own souls’ sake, the dissenters hopefully don’t actually realize that they are not worshiping God as he truly is, but rather an idol of that God disfigured by their own “reasoning”.

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  14. JimGB says:

    I never understand why people such as this writer who demand the ordination of women do not simply join the Episcopal church where they can become priests and bishops.

  15. wmeyer says:

    Tens? There may even be dozens, Father.

    Were it not so commonplace today, the fluid transitions between books they like (usually erroneous histories published shortly after the Council closed) and those they don’t (almost always written by people with actual credentials in Church history) would be fascinating.

    Similar to the idea that a climate study paid for by an oil company can’t be believed, while one paid for by Greenpeace is obviously hard reality.

    Lost skills in our age include logic, rhetoric, and the ability to make change without instruction from a computer.

  16. Supertradmum says:

    Hey, we are not all St. Therese of the Child Jesus, or Gemma Galganis, or Etheldredas….etc. God gives grace totally indiscriminately.

    Also, God gives gifts…as I use to tell my students who could not separate logically roles from personhood, or vocations from jobs, I was not given the grace and talent to be a professional opera singer or Olympic swimmer or a St. Catherine of Siena, or a St. Zelie Martin, etc.

    The great death of the American spirit has been the false equalizing of gifts, talents, grace, and abilities.

    Some of these women want to blur gender distinctions as well. Sorry, but Christ IS a Man and Mary is a Woman and the Apostles were all men, and so on…..

    Enough, already. And, btw, I am very happy to be a Catholic woman without any clerical pretensions.

  17. Kathleen10 says:

    wmeyer, don’t forget writing in cursive, it is rarely taught.
    Some people want to spend their life railing about whatever they are not. I’ve said this too many times here, probably, but what a shame authentic femininity has been rejected by feminists and the culture, and only the male role is considered the big prize. What utter foolishness to chase after something that can never be yours, just because it’s not yours. Feminists throw away the incredible contribution to the world of civilizing men (yes, it’s often true), raising happy and healthy children, and bringing softness into the world, all to what, be “pretend men” in a role that was never intended for women anyway. What a waste of energy and opportunity.

  18. Mike says:

    I never understand why people such as this writer who demand the ordination of women do not simply join the Episcopal church where they can become priests and bishops.

    They know the difference between a fake church and a real one. Disfiguring a fake church brings little emotional satisfaction, the only thing that matters to the Modernist.

  19. Suburbanbanshee says:

    I’ve studied the question as a woman. Deaconesses never did anything that can’t be done today by an ordinary layperson (EMHC, sacristan, emergency acolyte, assistant at baptism, running Church charities), deacon’s wife, or abbess (if they were that kind of deaconess). The only “ordain-y” thing they did was washing the sacred vessels in some places, which may have been an abuse or may have been just more sacristan work. So if there’s nothing distinctive now about deaconess jobs, feminists should blame Vatican II.

    OTOH, a lot of feminists should study the example of well-known saintly deaconesses like St. Olympias, the wealthy and near-royal friend and supporter of St. John Chrysostom. She died in poverty because she was faithful to orthodoxy. Apparently she had a different idea about what service to the Church is all about.

    It was good enough for St. Olympias,
    Who’d refuse to be so impious.
    Womynpriests are all too wimpious,
    They’re not good enough for me!

  20. Michelle F says:

    WOC = a versatile round-bottomed cooking vessel (so saith Wikipedia).

  21. baileymxd says:

    Haha COW…I mean WOC….

  22. iamlucky13 says:

    It’s rather disturbing that she closed by also turning on St. Catherine of Sienna and declaring her mentally ill.

  23. Nan says:

    Supertradmum, that’s your secret superheroine identity, right? Faithful Catholic.

  24. JKnott says:

    In the past there was a need for those deaconesses to watch over the modesty of women.
    Today it is the reverse.
    Institute an “order” of quiet, humble ladies to protect the parishioners FROM the immodesty of badly dressed girls and women entering the church for Mass.
    Catch them at the door and cover some of them up.
    What a charity.

  25. robtbrown says:

    JimGB says:

    I never understand why people such as this writer who demand the ordination of women do not simply join the Episcopal church where they can pretend to be priests and bishops.


  26. HealingRose says:

    Are you referring to something like what happened with the meteorologist in LA?
    ( )
    If it isn’t allowed in most schools, why should it be allowed in church? It shouldn’t matter someone’s age, profession, regional influence, etc.

    What is the difference between the altar girls and a deaconesses? In my church, one of the regular altar girl mimics a deacon in many ways, particularly what she wears. She wears a long white dress and changes a scarf to coordinate with the liturgical color. When she isn’t busy attending to her duties, she keeps her palms pressed together in front of her chest. Other than not being allowed to say anything during Mass, I honestly do not see any difference from a deacon besides the title. Although, this Minister of the Altar could easily be given multiple tasks like being a Lector and Cantor, in addition to being a Minister of the Altar. With so many different titles for altar servers, like Minister of the Alter, I think there very easily could be deaconesses soon. After all, we like to make people feel special…

  27. catholictrad says:

    “C”atholic feminist? or “C”atholic Modernist?

  28. Imrahil says:

    It is so refreshing these days to read an article, even though it be your opponent’s, when it actually bothers to be correct as far as the facts go, and to display some (correct) informations on details, and succeeds in doing so.

    In this sense: kudos to Ms Keneally.

  29. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    “which could also be Conference for the Ordination of Women…” but could it easily be Holy C.O.W.?

    “There is no “crowd” who wants this.” Perhaps ‘turba’?

  30. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    “women cannot act ‘in the person of Christ'”: are such things as Suburbanbanshee notes, “EMHC, sacristan, emergency acolyte, assistant at baptism, running Church charities”, acting ‘in natura Christi (id est, Humanitas)’?

  31. Grumpy Beggar says:

    Fr. Z :”‘I’m not alone.’ [Indeed not! There are tens of supporters for this!]”


    Henry Edwards says: “. . .Maybe even dozens!”


    Darn ! I guess that kind of rules out “Legion” as a nickname.

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  33. Grumpy Beggar says:

    iamlucky13 says:
    “It’s rather disturbing that she closed by also turning on St. Catherine of Sienna and declaring her mentally ill.”

    A Doctor of the Church – mentally ill: How interesting it would be to find out precisely where she dug up that, um, diagnosis. In my limited opinion, it is always a low blow when dissenters employ mention of a saint in their writings much in the same way as we would employ a kleenex for a runny nose.

    “Saint Catherine of Siena was a mystic. Could it be St Catherine’s love of our Blessed Lord alone in the Holy Eucharist which Kristina Keneally is misconstruing to be a mental illness?

    “For the seven year period prior to her death, Saint Catherine of Siena took no food into her body other than the Eucharist. Her fasting did not affect her energy, however. She maintained a very active life during those seven years. As a matter of fact, most of her great accomplishments occurred during that period. Her death had nothing to do with malnutrition, or anything connected with lack of food.

    Not only did her fasting not cause her to lose energy, but became a source of extraordinary strength, she becoming stronger in the afternoon, after having received our Lord in His Eucharist.”

    And this below –
    The Fast of St Catherine of Siena

    Oh, BTW , Kristina Keneally also wrote an article entitled Why I Support Gay Marriage . . .so any other garbage she writes, shouldn’t really surprise us.

  34. majuscule says:

    I just completed a survey from our local diocesan newspaper. One of the questions was something on the order of “Some readers think there are not enough articles about women. What do you think.”

    After duly thinking about past editions and looking through tha paper I told them that those readers are probably feminists who would not be satisfied no matter how many articles appeared about women. Really, almost every picture of church goings on has at least one female in it and articles about church activities are full of women! Some of the columnists are women. Just not a certain type of woman.

    Another question had to do with the perception that there were not enough articles about the laity. Again, a quick flip through the pages shows that not to be true. Certainly a paper like this is going to have articles and columns written by and about those who have been ordained or taken vows. That’s why I read it.

    As a remedy for both these perceived shortcomings I suggested more articles about female saints who were laywomen!

  35. Athelstan says:

    By the way, Catherine of Siena acquired a form of mental illness and starved herself to death at 33. (The Picture Book of Saints left that part out.) I’ve often thought that Catherine was most likely driven mad because she was an intelligent woman frustrated by the limitations she faced living in the 14th century.

    Wow. A clinical psychiatric diagnosis and a heaping side of anachronistic imputation of motives, all in one tight paragraph.

    But no harm to St Catherine, now enjoying the Beatific Vision – and enjoying it precisely because she accepted the grace of God and rejected all the materialistic impulses so enthusiastically advocated by Kristina Kenneally.

  36. Peter Stuart says:

    It’s rather disturbing that she closed by also turning on St. Catherine of Sienna and declaring her mentally ill.

    One of the priests at my Jesuit alma mater said as much to me in the mid-1980s about the Apostle Paul. His remark had little effect on me only because by then I was already well on my way into my quarter-century’s journey into the spiritual wasteland. (It’s intriguing if fruitless to consider what alternate effect a Fr. Hardon might have had.)

  37. Rescued Sinner says:

    I will continue to pray and hope that GOD , the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit will give a future Pope a “Special Mandate” to change, (in a single moment) all the female bishops and female priests of other Christian Churches, into “Permanent Deacons.” Then, not allow anymore of them to be ordained as priests; never again! This must happen first! Then, maybe non-ordained deaconesses might happen, but very slowly; If GOD WANTS IT, for CHRISTIAN UNITY.

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