When Dialogue is a Distraction – Crisis Magazine

 

NICHOLAS SENZ

Pope Francis has announced a commission to study the female diaconate, following through on a suggestion he made to a group of women religious a few months ago. The announcement has been met with all manner of speculation and punditry, and not a little confusion. The confusion flows from the fact that the topic was taken up recently by the International Theological Commission, which produced a report in 2002 that refrained from making a definitive claim (which would not be its place) but which clearly stated that “The deaconesses mentioned in the tradition of the ancient Church—as evidenced by the rite of institution and the functions they exercised—were not purely and simply equivalent to the deacons.” Why, then, is the question being taken up again?

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