Women and the Church

Some would claim that the final document of the Amazon Synod – at least in its conclusions about the role of women – was a foregone conclusion. Its content was decided about five years ago. But Pope Francis seems to be hedging his bets.

He commented that the final document of the Synod “falls short of explaining women’s full role in the Church”, particularly “in the transmission of faith, in the preservation of culture. I would just like to underline this: that we have not yet realized what women mean in the Church… rather, it focuses on the functional aspect, which is important, but is not everything.”

The he went on to speak of a re-convened Commission on Women in the Diaconate. with a fresh and expanded membership.

So what are we to conclude? That the diaconate is to be seen as distinct from the other two orders, and is definitely not included in the prohibition of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis? Or that the three orders continue to be seem as a unity, and a female diaconate, distinct from Holy Orders, is to supplement them?

Clarity is needed. For Francis must realize that in the current state of things the creation (or ‘revivial’) of an order of deaconesses will not lessen pressure for women deacons equivalent to men. The political pressure comes not from the Amazon, but from Western churches whose sights are set on women in the priesthood.

Accedens autem Helias ad omnem populum ait usquequo claudicatis in duas partes si Dominus est Deus sequimini eum si autem Baal* sequimini illum et non respondit ei populus verbum.

*for Baal read Pachamama.

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