Fr. Murray, Prof. Royal on “Deaconettes”, ‘Amoris laetitia’, Liturgy, Communion in the hand

My good friend Fr. Murray was on EWTN the other day along with Prof. Robert Royal.


They react to Card. Sarah, Bp. Morlino, Thomas Reese, SJ, James Martin, SJ, Card. Schoenborn, etc.

Oh boy!

Speaking of JESUITS… HERE

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Kathleen10 says:

    They hit all the right notes. Thanks to Raymond Arroyo for having this as a point of discussion.
    Fr. Murray is just spot on, as is Robert Royal.
    That sums it up.

  2. benedetta says:

    Coincidentally, the biographical sketch of Saul Alinsky is replaying this evening on EWTN. The Chicago gangland and mobster associations, the support for the Stalinist crimes, and the general instrumentalizing under the euphemism of “community organizing”, combined with the vicious hatred of religious belief are described. The infiltration into Catholic politically active circles was an obvious coup that continues to reap big anti Catholic benefits in places such as fishwrap etc.

  3. HighMass says:

    One can ask Pope Benedict where are you????
    This only makes one think the ones who wanted Pope Benedict out are winning….but we must not abandon Hope, Jesus Promise the Gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church…..

  4. joekstl says:

    The order of Deacons should not be restricted to males. [LOL! Okay, everyone… enjoy!] The fact that there is a current study should alert us to the fact that there is no dogmatic restriction of the diaconate to men only. We do know that there was an ordination rite for women deacons identical to the rite for men, including laying on of hands by a bishop and investing with a stole. I do agree that the role of women deacons in the first century was different from what we understand the diaconate to be today. However, if we don’t understand that our Church was/is influenced by a patriarchal view of society and family we will never get to a understanding of how women can function in our Church. I believe that our Church is just late to the role of women – how long did it take for women to have the right to vote, to serve in our military, to be elected to congress, etc. And unfortunately that extends to even a role for women around the altar/table as servers, lectors, or Eucharistic Ministers.
    If our parish announced that these ministries were forbidden to women, we would have a mass exodus – it would be contradictory to the Gospel message of baptismal equality.

    I watched the entire video on this post and still have no idea of why there is an objection to communion in the hand. The tongue is no more reverent than the hand. We have great reverence for the Eucharist in our parish where Communion under both species is offered at every Mass, Sunday, weekday, funerals and weddings.

    And I will not even address the issue of a married clergy which is purely an issue of practice that can and should be changed tomorrow.

    [Don’t rise to the bait. Ignore.]

  5. stuartal79 says:

    What Cardinal Schoenborn said about “female deacons” was not very controversial. He alluded to the Orthodox understanding of deaconesses, but he did not speak in favor of ordaining female deacons.

  6. Emilio says:

    I took Cardinal Schönborn’s comments as sympathetic toward the ordination of women …ordination to what is anyone’s guess, but that was the insinuation: all those poor women who have to look at all us men up there on the altar all the time.

    I thought Father Murray hit a home run in the Arroyo segment. He pegged Fr. Martin as a dissenter at best and flat out said that this should have disqualified him for the appointment to Rome he received… BAM! He had the integrity to just say it like it is. And speaking of Father Martin, I just came across a tweet of his insinuating support for “discussions on the role of women in the Church” (code for women’s ordination) basing himself on Christ appearing first to Mary Magdalene, a woman, rather than to a man … brilliant rationale. When challenging Fr. Martin’s politization of the Resurrection, I was shot down by a South African Jesuit insinuating that I don’t understand the depths of theology enough to even respond to someone like Fr. Martin. I’m thinking that “Deaconettes” are no longer the sole issue here, they’re going for Ordinatio Sacerdotalis too…again.

  7. John Nolan says:

    Any attempt to alter the sacrament of Holy Orders by admitting women to the diaconate would result in schism. Does Francis want to be remembered as the pope who left the Church formally divided? Not unless he is seriously deranged, and despite some odd pronouncements he does not appear to be so.

    Keep calm and carry on.

  8. greenlight says:

    What’s most fascinating to me about the few of these segments that I’ve seen is the thinly veiled exasperation.

    Arroyo: “What about this issue of_________?”

    Murray & Royal: “It’s really….distressing? It could really mean….a…troubling situation…down the road…if it’s not addressed.”

    You can just about see what they’re really thinking and trying hard not to say.

  9. Eugene says:

    How infinitely sad and distressing it must be for a faithful priest like Fr Murray to have to talk about Reese and Martin. Two men I simply cannot tolerate but who are the darlings of the apostate society they belong to and now of the Vatican.

  10. Elizabeth D says:

    Today is 1st Communion day at Bp Morlino’s Cathedral Parish. Two kids received kneeling on a kneeler and on the tongue at English language Mass this morning. I went over to the Spanish 1st Communion Mass to see what would happen there with the much larger group of kids, 40 or 50, who would have their First Communion there. That church has a beautiful marble Communion rail however they received Communion standing, many on the tongue. Yes we have a tiny number of English speaking religious education students and a great many kids whose families go to Spanish Mass. The Spanish speaking priest is from Mexico, he is a zealous and orthodox pastor, doesn’t know English well, and has very different liturgical sensibilities. I wonder if next year after some more formation of the parents as well as kids they would have 1st Communions kneeling at Spanish Mass as well. But the way I recall what Bishop Morlino said at Chrism Mass he was above all calling for promoting kneeling Communion for Catholic school children beginning in the fall.

  11. JonathanTX says:

    *IF* the early Church had female deacons, the only reason was sexist: woman deacons would have only ministered to women (during full immersion baptism, e.g.) and men only ministered to men. So clearly, any historical revival of female deacons would be based upon a patriarchal system that is contrary to modern liberalism. Therefore, the only true progressive position should be to fight against women deacons…..

  12. un-ionized says:

    Jonathan, there is nothing sexist about modesty. In the clothing that was worn (or not worn) then, baptism by immersion was very revealing.

  13. joekstl says:

    It’s a shame that Fr. Z would laugh at the idea of women deacons that is under consideration by our magisterium. It is no matter to be laughed at. [I don’t laugh. I chuckle, chortle, and even guffaw and slap my knee.] If you want to consider Frs. Reese and Martin dissidents feel free. [I do. And MORE.] It’s how we got St. Paul to evangelize Gentiles outside the strictures of Judaism. [That’s blasphemy.]

    As to the threat of schism we’ve been through that several times in our history as in the 11th century with the Eastern Churches and in the 20th with the SSPX. [B as in B. S as in S.] Both of these can be healed and efforts are being made on both fronts.

    Last, why is it so hard for anyone to explain the exclusion of women in accepted ministries for men but not for them? This is not “bait” but an honest attempt to understand a varying opinion. [No. It isn’t, really.]

  14. NBW says:

    Excellent coverage from Mr. Arroyo, Mr. Royal and Fr. Murray. May God Bless them!

  15. Fr. Reader says:

    This blog is very entertaining…

  16. Pingback: Deaconettes, Amoris Laetitia, Communion in the hand . . . | To our bodies turn we then

  17. Elizabeth D says:

    joekstl, I would never believe anyone at all who claimed to me that a woman had received the Sacrament of Holy Orders. Not her, not you, not the Pope, not a purported angel of God. A woman cannot be an image of Christ as Bridegroom or an image of the Father which Christ is for us. Men and women are not simply interchangeable. Neither can a man be an image of the bride-Church. People naturally find the complementarity of man and woman, which is ordered toward their fruitful and faithful union, intensely delightful and from this can teach chaste souls to understand and orient themselves to relationship with God and the unending joy of union with God in love, the ultimate goal of our life.

    I agree with un-ionized that modesty is in no way sexist and it was totally fitting to have women minister to women in certain situations.

  18. robtbrown says:


    1. You’re wrong about the Church and patriarchies. Mediterreanean cultures, from which come both Judaism and the Church, have a long history as matriarchies. The pure patriarchies were found in Northern Europe.

    It is important to keep in mind, however, that a matriarchy is not the mirror image of a patriarchy, except with women replacing men. In matriarchies the family is the most important social structure (rather than the place of employment), and the mother is the center of the family. Matriarchies tend to be more sensuous, with the meal as the most important event of the day. That’s why the areas with great food are matriarchal (New Orleans, influenced by France and Spain, has the greatest indigenous food in the US. Those who live in matriarchies are most passionate than sentimental, and the women are very confident.

    In a patriarchy the woman always cooks. In a matriarchy cooking is so important that men also want to do it–not to be confused with grilling steaks (a football coach once said that every American man thinks he knows how to do two things: grill a steak and coach a football team). You’d be surprised how many Italians told me that their fathers were great cooks.

    A patriarchy would never produce two Scriptural books named for women–Esther and Ruth. Nor a woman as Apostle to the Apostles (Mary Magdalene).

    The areas obsessed with women clerics are Germanic cultures, patriarchies. The Latin nations, France, Italy, and Spain, are not really interested–not because women are second class citizens but because the feminine is so important in those cultures that they feel no need to pretend they are men.

    2. Deacons, deaconettes, deaconesses, diaconine will be later

  19. hwriggles4 says:

    I thank Fr. Z for mentioning this. At our men’s conference this past weekend, I mentioned to a few of my buddies that Raymond Arroyo has not been afraid to pull any punches. Deacon Harold Burke Sivers was one of our speakers and he challenged us men.

    One blog post I suggest reading is a recent post by Fr. Dwight Longnecker who was at our conference. (Fr. Longnecker covered how St. Benedict is a great role model for Catholic men).

    Anyway, Fr. Longnecker has a post (his blog is titled Standing on my Head) about his concern that the Vatican seems to be leaning more Anglican these days. I read it yesterday, and it’s worth the read. Like many Catholics and several priests, including Fr. Longnecker, I too was disappointed with Fr. James Martin being appointed.

  20. Imrahil says:

    Dear robtbrown,

    very interesting points,t hank you.

  21. thomas tucker says:

    I watched this interview this weekend. thank you for posting it, Father Z. After reading Pope Frnacis’ latest homily at his domicile, I am very leery of what’s coming up, and don’t think that things are going to go well. I thik these two commentators will have much more to say in the near future.

  22. Legisperitus says:

    robtbrown, don’t forget Judith!

  23. The office of deaconess (which is not to be confused, and never has been, with the office of deacon) is largely a phenomenon of the Eastern Churches, and never really took hold in the West. There is also confusion over the term “ordained” (“chierotonia”) as it would have been applied to the deaconess, as this implies a much broader use of the term than in the West, one that does not imply reception of Holy Orders, and by extension, aspiration to the priesthood. My 1997 essay on the topic, which found its way to the EWTN Online Library, was revised and republished in 2012, to reflect more recent developments in the Orthodox Churches.

    Deaconess: A Rose By Any Other Name

  24. robtbrown says:

    2. cont

    Originally, the permanent diaconate was restored so that in missionary areas, which might only see a priest once a year, a cleric would always be present to Baptize, Witness marriages, lead prayers at burials. and keep records of same.

    After Vat II, however, the program IMHO was expanded for two reasons: 1) The mass exodus of the laity caused pastors (bishops and priests) to stimulate lay interest with greater participation–including the permanent diaconate. 2) The lack of priestly vocations caused some bishops to pad the stats with permanent deacons: “We only have ordained a few priests and are far under replacement numbers–but we now have 40 permanent deacons!”

    It is the preoccupation with participation that is driving the desire for deaconesses. And liberalism is an asymptote: It doesn’t produce what it promises but always promises more– liberalism will eventually produce the ideal (ecclesial) society.

  25. robtbrown says:

    joekstl says,

    If you want to consider Frs. Reese and Martin dissidents feel free.  

    Notwithstanding whether they are dissents, neither is a theologian.

    It’s how we got St. Paul to evangelize Gentiles outside the strictures of Judaism. 

    You seem to be saying that the relationship of the post Vat II Church to the pre Vat II Church is like the relationship of Israel to the Church. That makes the pre Vat II Church the antitype of your New Church. All that is mindful of Joachim de Fiore and his Age of the Spirit (the Age of the Word now obsolete), a subject about which Joseph Ratzinger is very knowledgeable.

    Women cannot be ordained simply because Christ chose men.

  26. The Masked Chicken says:

    “Women cannot be ordained simply because Christ chose men.”

    While I agree, just a science-fiction question: what happens in 100 years when we will be able to alter DNA such that a person can change one of their X chromosomes into a Y chromosome? Then, we won’t have this problem, because those women who want to be deaconesses can just simply commit to becoming officially male. So, shouldn’t the Church just table the matter until then :) Is this not the perfect solution?

    The Chicken

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