Amazon Synod and deaconettes?

You know that the issue of deaconettes is going to be raised at the Synod (“walking together”) on the Amazon.

The former Prefect of the CDF, Gerhard Card. Müller responded to something a wacky S. American suggested, namely, that the impossibility of the ordination of women to the priesthood is not a dogma.  Fail.

“But, even if the Pope explained at the time that ‘all the faithful of the Church are definitely to hold this decision,’ it is nevertheless not a dogma,” [wacky] Bishop Kräutler stated in an interview with Blickpunkt Lateinamerika, the journal of the German relief agency Adveniat – a group which heavily funded [the Rhine flows into the Amazon] the preparations for the upcoming Synod. Kräutler also stated in the same interview that the Amazon Synod “must” allow a female diaconate[MUST!  Well!  That’s that!]

The Amazon Synod’s controversial working document proposes “to identify the type of official ministry that can be conferred on women, taking into account the central role which women play today in the Amazonian Church” (14). But the participants of one preparatory meeting for the Amazon Synod – among them Cardinal Lorenzo [“Clergyman”] Baldisseri, the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops – explicitly called for the allowance of female deacons.

Card. Müller points back to the document of John Paul II that simply will not go away: Ordinatio sacerdotalis.  Also, the CDF put out its own document explaining the former.  OS says clear that this is definitively to be held by the faithful.  The CDF explained that, because of the consistent teaching of the Church, this is infallibly taught.

At LifeSite read the whole thing.

In effect, Card. Müller underscores what I’ve been repeating all along.  Just as Vatican II reaffirmed, while diaconate is different from the priesthood (priest and bishop) nevertheless it is one of the Holy Orders.  The three orders are intimately tied together in one Sacrament of Holy Orders.  If the priesthood cannot be conferred on women (absolutely clear) then none of the grades of Holy Orders can be conferred on women.  Period.  Exclamation point.

It stands to reason.

But will that make a difference in this crazy age?

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  1. Gab says:

    I will only receive the Sacraments from a priest … a male priest … for as long as God allows. It is clear this Amazon Synod has nothing to do with the Amazon region and everything to do with deforming the Church globally. And many think Vat II was terrible for the Church, well the Amazon Synod says “hold my beer”.
    It’s as though they’re following Alinsky’s tactics laid out in “Rules for Radicals”. Over dramatic, maybe, but each day brings a “what fresh hell is this?” thought.

  2. Lurker 59 says:

    In attempting to read the tea leaves, it doesn’t look like we are going to get deaconesses that are sacerdotal in orientation. There is a very practical reason for this being that homosexuals and homosexualists don’t share power. (Conversely, feminists don’t either.)

    Let us recall that Pope Francis recently said, “The deacon is not for the altar, he is there for service,” the pope said. “When a deacon likes to go too much to the altar, he is mistaken. This isn’t the path.”

    Here we can see the move to redefine what it is that the deacon is. This redefinition will make it ‘possible’ rhetorically to carve out a place for deaconesses. We already know what this concept will look like — it will be a hybrid of a community organizer (to appease the Marxists) and shaman (to appease the neo-pantheists/ecumenists).

    Look for something along this equation:

    Pressing Need + Lived Experience + False Understanding of Deacon = Deaconess

  3. Theophilus says:

    Rome is following in the footsteps of the Anglican church… A sad day Indeed.

  4. I might point out that whenever someone makes the point Cardinal Mueller makes — that the sacrament of Holy Orders is impossible for women, the retort is to recall the ancient order of non-sacramental deaconesses, and why can’t we just have those back?

    Which prompts me to ask: and why should the Church do that? To what end?

    There is no good, there is no serious, there is no non-laughable reason to re-create a non-sacramental “order” of deaconesses in the 21st century. To what purpose — other than the obvious ones, which no one wants to state out loud:

    – To pander to “the ladies” and hopefully make them be quiet;
    – To facilitate women who are non-ordained deaconesses to act as if they are ordained deacons and get away with it;
    – To create a platform from which to push for more;
    – To make what is deemed impossible less impossible, i.e., women receiving the sacrament of Holy Orders.

    [Non-sacramental deaconesses…. You mean “nuns”?]

  5. Deacon John says:

    The Office of Readings today is replete with references to deacons, including this reminder from St. Ignatius of Antioch which seems apropos to this post:

    “Deacons, too, who are ministers of the mysteries of Jesus should in all things be pleasing to all men. For they are not mere servants with food and drink, but emissaries of God’s Church; hence they should guard themselves against anything deserving reproach as they would against fire.
    Similarly, all should respect the deacons as Jesus Christ, just as all should regard the bishop as the image of the Father, and the clergy as God’s senate and the college of the apostles. Without these three orders you cannot begin to speak of a church. I am confident that you share my feelings in this matter…” Letter to the Trallians

  6. ChrisP says:

    “all the faithful of the Church”……

    There’s your answer right there. What this synod proposes is either not of the faithful or of the Church. It will be ape of it, as Bp. Fulton Sheen correctly noted.

    We think it’s bad now, what until Pope Karl Marx I gets hold of it.

  7. ex seaxe says:

    Looking at Deacon John’s quotation “Without these three orders you cannot begin to speak of a church” I wonder about the church of my childhood 80 years ago in England. There was a marked lack of deacons, and had been for many centuries. There was of course an army of female religious, teaching, nursing, visiting the sick and the poor, … and praying.
    My experience of deacons is that they are performing a very useful role in providing continuity of presence of the Church on behalf of an overburdened priesthood. Is that not what they were originally set up to do?
    The churches of the New Testament also set up structures for women to work on behalf of the church, though as far as I can see we are very hazy on detail. I can imagine that a revival of deaconesses, answerable directly to their priests and bishops, could be similarly beneficial. (It would help avoid the conflicts between nuns and priests which I know occurred in parishes in the past, when the nuns were under the authority of their congregations not of the clergy).

  8. iamlucky13 says:

    It helps me a bit to remember this is not new. We’ve been working to correct this error for a while.

    Saint John Paul II made clear that this is long-running issue 25 years ago as a preface to his declaration:

    “at the present time in some places it is nonetheless considered still open to debate, or the Church’s judgment that women are not to be admitted to ordination is considered to have a merely disciplinary force.”

    What is new is more boldness in contradicting very clearly, explicitly taught matters. Bishop Krautler’s statement has not been translated as a case words that could be read in a heterodox or orthodox manner, or of trying to generalize “subjective realities” like culpability for divorce and remarriage in the light of negligent catechesis.

    When a bishop is willing to openly contradict such an explicit teaching by a Pope, it would greatly concern me if this does not lead to a visitation to confirm he has been quoted accurately, give him a chance to clarify, or take corrective action if necessary. It is not enough for a cardinal to allude to the error in an interview.

    By the way I followed the links to Bishop Krautler’s interview. I don’t read German, so I hesitate to vouch for the accuracy, but Google translate seems to render it fairly cleanly at least. In the same interview, Bishop Krautler, appears to call for getting rid of a common rite for the Mass, and hints at wanting invalid matter to be used for Communion.

  9. RLseven says:

    I wonder where this is coming from? I have never heard a Catholic woman voice a desire to be a deacon. There are so many opportunities for women in ministry now–I know many who are serving our Church as lay and religious in parishes, schools, hospitals, higher education, and in our communities. I don’t think they see the benefit or need for this role, nor do they wish to have the thumb of the institution on them, were they to be ordained. Why would they forfeit their freedom? For women who desire this, is it about ego?

  10. Suburbanbanshee says:

    We need non-sacramental deaconesses to clean churches, of course!

    But they can’t have keys, because the order of the porter has that job, and they got rid of that. Only Father and the deacon can have keys.

    Also, the chick who runs the parish orphanage… No? How about the chick who runs the parish guesthouse? No? Surely you have a convent of nuns or canonesses with an abbess of deaconess rank? No?

    More seriously, I suppose that the old chick who runs the parish homeless shelter or food pantry, or the scary woman principal of the parish school, would be possible candidates for the non-sacramental office of deaconess. But you would have to commit to your bishop and parish in a serious way, as well as accepting a lot of strictures that normal “church ladies” do not have.

    People largely do not want the real duties of historical deaconesses but do want the name; or they are doing the service already, without attention, and do not want the title.

  11. JARay says:

    I too am one of those who grew up in England 80+ years ago like ex seaxe. There were no permanent deacons at all but there were many nuns who taught in the schools and taught the Faith very effectively to the many children in Catholic schools. Alas they are not there now.

  12. Kathleen10 says:

    I agree with ChrisP, this is the ape of the Roman Catholic Church. It is not the Church.

  13. TonyO says:

    I get that there are plenty of foolish and evil-minded people (not excepting priests and bishops) who WANT there to be women deaconettes. What I don’t understand is why they think they have a chance with this pope? Francis in 2017 said it was a “closed” question. In 2018, Cardinal Ladaria issued a CDF document affirming that it is a closed question, that Ordinatio Sacerdotalis stated an infallible and definitive dogma. Even if some dumb bishop imagines that he can get “the Church” to ignore what has been infallibly and irreformably taught (i.e. he doesn’t believe in infallibility, nor in the permanence of doctrine), he should at least be aware that THIS POPE is not going to try to test those waters, not on this issue.

    Maybe they think they can set the stage for the next pope to reform the irreformable? I suppose they might think that – maybe they even have a candidate in mind who would try it. I am no prophet, but I suspect that after they elect one such candidate, who then mysteriously drops dead the night before issuing the new teaching, the next pope they elect might have second thoughts about following in his footsteps.

  14. Kathleen10 says:

    TonyO, he will distance himself from it and pose as if he had no power and it was all reached by consensus, in this “synodal” age of false dialogue, but that’s all an act for the uninformed. It’s all his.
    He controls everything and pretends he controls nothing.

  15. ChrisP says:

    The Church needs female deaconettes like a fish needs a bicycle.

  16. JonPatrick says:

    I just realized why this push for deaconesses. The Church must be planning to go back to the ancient practice of full immersion baptisms in one’s birthday suit so the deaconesses would be needed for those (to use contemporary terms) identify as female. Of course that would mean adding the appropriate baptistries to all our churches. I guess the Germans can afford to pay for that.

  17. Ex Seaxe said:

    “I can imagine that a revival of deaconesses, answerable directly to their priests and bishops, could be similarly beneficial.”

    Forgive me, but I simply don’t get this. What exactly would the office of “deaconess” — non sacramental! — accomplish and make possible, that is not happening, that is not possible, right now? Other than a new title, what is different? Would deaconesses wear distinctive clothing? Would there be any liturgical role for deaconesses — and if so, precisely what?

    Please explain this to me as if I am eight years old. I’m not being snarky; I really want to know your line of reasoning here.

  18. Lurker 59 says:

    @TonyO ~ The fact that His Holiness won’t release the report on female deaconesses from the commission that he established is the proof that, at the very least, His Holiness wishes:
    1. That the topic continues to be discussed.
    2. That those who support female deaconesses have hope that it shall come to pass.

    Additionally, what are the stated purposes of the Amazon Synod?
    1. Female deaconesses.
    2. Married priests.
    3. Introduction of Occult Rites for the Mass (I am using this term occult technically here not as a synonym for demonic. This is opposed to the development of Cultic Rites and Forms for the Mass (Divine Mercy Sunday being an example).

    These are the desired solutions to the problems that are being presented:
    A. Lack of priests.
    B. Lack of cultural accompaniment (which is being sold as a lack of ecological awareness but is, in reality, the lack of Gia worship in Catholicism).

    That is the game board that has been setup. The players that have been selected to play this game are not necessarily on the same page but they do share the same desire to play the game and arrive, one way or another, at the goals of the game.

    The question is not “will they or won’t they” but rather “given that they shall, in some form, arrive at the goals of the game that is being played, how does one stop it from being implemented in one’s own locality?”

  19. Lurker 59 says:

    @Fr Martin Fox ~ “Would there be any liturgical role for deaconesses — and if so, precisely what?”

    Not to step on Ex Seaxe but…

    Yes. What that nun said at the Synod yesterday. Baptism, marriage, and hearing confessions without absolution. I would also think that there would be additionally some formalization of the role of a deaconess as the celebrant at a Liturgy of the Word w or w/o Communion. After all, the purpose of the deacon is to preach the Gospel. I would also expect that a deaconess would be permitted to read the Gospel and give the homily at a normal Mass for the same reason.

    You kind of see all of this being done anyway here and there around the world — it is a “lived experiance” that lacks formulization and official sanction. Pope Francis is pretty consistent in his desire to formalize and sanction “lived experiences”.

    (Note: I am opposed to deaconesses either under a restoration of the form of antiquity or in a modern form.)

  20. ex seaxe says:

    I agree that I know of no role for deaconesses which cannot be performed now by lay women. My late wife spent 9 years working for the Church in Brazil, much of it in very large rural parishes. She was asked by the bishop to visit centres in the parish more than a days travel from the parish church, where the priest would be seen no more than once or twice a year. This involved advising and training local catechists, but also holding prayer/Bible services, preaching, witnessing marriages and other activities as authorised by the bishop.
    My argument for deaconesses would be based on having this as a formal ministry, regulated by canon law, and under obedience to the bishop/pastor. I hear from the protagonists of shouting matches between parish priests and laity working in the parish, and I have heard stories of nuns winning a battle of wills with the priest, because their canonical obedience was to their superior and not to the diocese.
    I do not see a pressing need for this ministry in the developed world, at present. In England I would suggest waiting 50 years while we see how the permanent diaconate works out.

  21. OLOHSteve says:

    Clearly if “deaconesses “ in name only are allowed the result will be at a minimum:
    Heterodox pastors will delegate all baptisms, funerals outside of mass, and perhaps even weddings outside of nuptial mass using provisions allowing catechists approved by the bishop for these.
    Do Not Open this door in any way !!!

  22. Suburbanbanshee says:

    No. No.

    Deaconesses historically assisted Baptism, by helping strip and clothe the female candidates and acting as a chaperone of old lady-type dignity. They had nothing to do with marriages, homilies, holding the Precious Blood, or any of that.

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