Posts Tagged women deacons

Catholic organizations launch new effort, ‘DeaconChat,’ to foster dialogue on women deacons

 

 

 

 

The Association of U.S. Catholic Priests, FutureChurch, and Voice of the Faithful are launching a new initiative to foster education and conversation on women deacons.

DeaconChat, brings Catholics―both lay and ordained―into dialogue.

On May 12, 2016, Pope Francis―responding to a question posed by members of the International Union of Superiors General―said that he would establish a commission to study the question of ordaining women deacons in the Roman Catholic Church. That commission was formally announced in August 2016 and began its work in November 2016.

“Already in 2013, AUSCP called for consideration of ordaining women deacons. As the papal commission continues its work, it is important that Catholics―lay and ordained―undergo their own study and discernment of the history and present possibility of ordaining women to the diaconate,” said Fr. Bob Bonnot, Chair of the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests. “DeaconChat provides that opportunity.”

“This initiative is designed to foster educational efforts to enrich dialogue on women deacons,” said Donna B. Doucette, Executive Director of Voice of the Faithful. “The program has three important components: learning, sharing, and connecting.”

“The initiative includes important educational materials, a link to purchase Phyllis Zagano’s book Women Deacons: Past, Present and Future, and guides for inviting clergy to dialogue,” said Deborah Rose-Milavec, Executive Director of FutureChurch. “We hope Catholics in the United States and around the world will be inspired to start a conversation in their parish.”

Go to http://www.CatholicWomenDeacons.org/support/deaconchat to download the DeaconChat materials.

Contact:
Fr. Bob Bonnot, Chair, Association of U.S. Catholic Priests, 330-397-1257, auscpbonnot@gmail.com
Deborah Rose-Milavec, Executive Director, FutureChurch, 513.673.1401, debrose@futurechurch.org
Donna Doucette, Executive Director, Voice of the Faithful, 1-781-559-3360, bdoucette@votf.org

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Deacons, women and the call to serve / America: The National Catholic Review

This special web round-table discussion is sponsored by America Media and the Fordham Center on Religion and Culture. Two in this series of three round-table discussions on the potential of a Catholic women’s diaconate have been published.
The current Vatican commission exploring the possibility of women deacons has raised a number of questions about their role in the church. As ordained ministers who are neither priests nor lay people, the actual role of deacons in the parishes where they minister remains unclear to many Catholics. What are deacons, and how has their role changed over history?
Could women deacons revolutionize pastoral ministry and transform the church? How can the diaconate better meet the changing needs of the faithful today? Join us for a roundtable discussion sponsored by the Fordham Center on Religion and Culture and America Media featuring:
  • Nancy Dallavalle, theologian and vice president for mission and identity at Fairfield University
  • Deacon Greg Kandra, blogger at Aleteia’s “The Deacon’s Bench,” multimedia editor at Catholic Near East Welfare Association.
  • Rita Ferrone, contributing editor at Commonweal and blogger at “Pray Tell Blog”
  • George Demacopoulos, theologian and founding co-director of the Orthodox Christian Studies Center at Fordham University
  • James Martin, S.J.,  moderator, author and editor-at-large for America Media

By The Editors at America: The National Catholic Review — Click here to read the rest of this article and access links to videos and transcripts of the roundtable discussions.

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Women deacons commission to meet in Rome for first time Nov. 25-26 / National Catholic Reporter

The new Vatican commission studying the possibility of allowing women to serve as deacons in the Catholic church will be meeting in Rome for the first time as a full group Nov. 25-26.

“The dates of the meeting, anticipated in recent months, was first reported Saturday by the U.S. newspaper Newsday, which spoke to commission member and NCR columnist Phyllis Zagano.

“Pope Francis’ creation of the commission, formally known as the Study Commission on the Women’s Diaconate, has been seen as signaling an historic openness to the possibility of ending the Catholic church’s practice of an all-male clergy.”

by Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Priests ask American bishops to discuss, act on four issues / Association of U.S. Catholic Priests

The largest association of U.S. Catholic priests is asking the U.S. bishops who begin their annual fall meeting today (Nov. 14) to discuss four issues confronting the Church and society. They are racism, non-violence, ordination of women deacons and the ordination of married men to the priesthood.

The priests’ request was made in the form of a letter, dated October 25, to each of the bishops. It was signed by Father Bob (Bernard R.) Bonnot on behalf of the Leadership Team and the one-thousand-plus members of the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests.

Racism in Church and Society

The AUSCP thanked the bishops for their January 2016 statement that called for confronting the poison of racism, and noted that the priests in their June 2016 assembly had made this effort a goal of the members. “We are committed to find ways to make anti-racism ‘a habit in our Catholic communities,” Bonnot said.

Non-Violence as a Strategy for Church and Society

The priests cited a statement jointly issued by the Vatican Office for Justice and Peace and Pax Christi: “An Appeal to the Catholic Church to Re-Commit to the Centrality of Gospel Non-Violence.” Bonot said, “Our Church remains far from putting [non-violence] forward as our primary response to conflicts.” He said the priests are committed to use their voices to encourage priests, members of the faithful and others “to make non-violence our first response,” and that the priests “urge you to be part of that international effort.”

Ordination of Women as Deacons and Married Men as Priests

The AUSCP began asking the bishops to consider these options in 2013, echoing groups such as FutureChurch and Voice of the Faithful. The AUSCP in 2015 asked the bishops to establish a committee to study the question of ordaining married men to the priesthood, echoing the request of the National Federation of Priests Council in the 1970s. Bonnot noted that Pope Francis has called for fresh consideration of women as deacons.

“AUSCP sees these proposed ordinations as matters of prudence that can help address the pastoral needs of the faithful. By 2019, half of active diocesan priests are able to retire, so the number of priests available to serve full-time will rapidly decline. Many now retired priests are aging out of service. We AUSCP priests, mostly 50 and above, urge you as a bishop, with our bishops collectively, to give us reason to hope that there is relief on the horizon. We are also concerned that this shortage will thrust young priests into crushing responsibilities before they are adequately prepared,” (the letter said).

The letter also asked the bishops to consider taking steps that would enable lay men and women to preach at Mass, noting that “not all priests are gifted in this matter,” and many pastors cannot speak well in the languages of their congregations.

“The national elections will be over when you meet,” Bonnot said, “but the issues confronting our society and Church will remain. Our voices in addressing those issues are important for the faithful and for all citizens.”

For comment or more information
Father Bob Bonnot, AUSCP Leadership Team Chair: auscpbonnot@gmail.com(link sends e-mail), (330) 397-1257
Sister Jackie Doepker, Executive Secretary: office@uscatholicpriests.org(link sends e-mail), (872) 205-5862

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On women clergy, Pope Francis fears ‘disease’ of clericalism / Cruxnow.com

“Despite the fact that he stands today at the apex of the clerical pecking order, there’s a sense in which Pope Francis is the most anti-clerical pontiff in Catholic history.”

During his customary in-flight news conference at the end of his trip to Sweden yesterday, Pope Francis took a question on women priests and not only reiterated, as he has several times in the past, that St. Pope John Paul has already said no, but he appeared to suggest that the Church’s ‘no’ is forever.

“‘If we read carefully the declaration of St. John Paul II, it goes in that direction,’ Francis said.

“What that response didn’t address, however, is the more interesting question currently percolating about women clergy, which is the matter of whether women can, and should, be ordained as deacons. I say it’s more ‘interesting’ largely because Francis’s answer is less predictable, and therefore the outcome is more up for grabs.

“I don’t know how to handicap where the pope will come down on the issue, but I do know where to begin in trying to describe how he’s likely to approach it: What he sees as the ‘disease’ of clericalism, and the danger of clericalism setting the tone for discussions of women in the Church.

“Despite the fact that he stands today at the apex of the clerical pecking order, there’s a sense in which Pope Francis is the most anti-clerical pontiff in Catholic history …”

By John L. Allen, Jr., Cruxnow.com — Click here to read the rest of this article.

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Want to see Catholic women preach? Soon you’ll be able to. / America magazine

One of the more intriguing questions Pope Francis prompted earlier this year when he announced that a Vatican commission would study whether the early church had women deacons was: How would Catholics react to women preaching?

“Some Catholic women hope to find out.

“A new website called Catholic Women Preach will publish videos showing just that, Catholic women preaching. The reflections will draw from the church’s weekly readings. The women backing the project say they hope the videos will help Catholics deepen their faith and become more comfortable with the idea of women preaching.”

By Michael O’Loughlin, America: The National Catholic Review — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Women deacons, set in stone / Commonweal

“… the evidence for women deacons is on the literal rocks themselves, carved in marble or limestone, on chancel screens or tombstones.”

Those not predisposed to support women deacons in the present day often consider the initiative to be a recent, feminist, perhaps postmodern quest, an innovation unmoored from historical tradition. What often goes unnoticed in the discussion about women deacons, though, is how much of the ancient evidence comes from concrete archaeological discoveries.

“Advocates are not reading between the lines of history, creating things that aren’t there in the plain sense of some text. They’re not looking under every proverbial rock in hopes of finding a meager piece of evidence. No, the evidence for women deacons is on the literal rocks themselves, carved in marble or limestone, on chancel screens or tombstones.”

By Michael Peppard, Commonweal — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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