First, today I saw a piece at Breitbart that Pope Francis popularity has dropped. HERE
That said, I have received links to various articles saying 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).
Studying is one thing and doing is another.
That said, I saw something telling in the Fishwrap account (aka National Schismatic Reporter).
The pope responded that he had spoken about the matter once some years ago with a “good, wise professor” who had studied the use of female deacons in the early centuries of the church. Francis said it remained unclear to him what role such deacons had.
“What were these female deacons?” the pontiff recalled asking the professor. “Did they have ordination or no?”
“It was a bit obscure,” said Francis. “What was the role of the deaconess in that time?”
“Constituting an official commission that might study the question?” the pontiff asked aloud. “I believe yes. It would do good for the church to clarify this point. I am in agreement. I will speak to do something like this.”
“I accept,” the pope said later. “It seems useful to me to have a commission that would clarify this well.”
First, I haven’t seen news that a commission exists. Maybe I missed something.
Next, this also means that the Pope has not been talking to the people who are in favor of the ordination of women! He hasn’t been paying attention to the advocates of deaconettes. Instead, he has been talking to those who find the question obscure and muddy.
Of course that is what this issue is: obscure and muddy. It is not at all likely that greater clarity will be gained from such a commission. Were there more out there to know… in serious, scholarly sources, that is… someone would have written it. Also, those with whom Francis speaks would have been able to point to it. Such a commission won’t consider half-baked propaganda, after all.
Meanwhile, the serious scholarship that exists says: they were not ordained in a sacramental sense, as deacons were and are. Also, not every idea that the Church tried was a good one: many were dropped – like deaconettes. Moreover, nothing about this will happen for quite a while, I suspect.
I might write more on this later, but for now that’s enough. Right now this is much ado about nothing.