Sunday, February 15, 2015

CNN: Papal revolution calls for female Deacons in accord with the early Church

CNN is touting a papal revolution while arguing that there is a theological framework for ordaining women to the diaconate.  In an article which may be found here, Jay Parini writes,"...the early church had female deacons, and St. Paul put great trust in female leaders, such as Lydia and Phoebe (a deacon with whom he entrusted his famous Letter to the Romans)."

Wrong Jay. Gerhard Ludwig Muller, Professor of Dogmatic Theology in Munich, explains in his scholarly work entitled "Priesthood and Diaconate" (Ignatius Press) that the consecration of deaconesses in the early Church was not an ordination of women to the diaconate.  He writes:

"The institutionalization of charitable services performed by widows in the Christian community, of the assistance rendered by women during baptismal ceremonies, and of liturgical functions in a convent of consecrated virgins is apparent from the beginning of the third century in the ecclesiastical  neologism: diaconissa/diacona.  For Koine Greek, unlike Latin, could not construct the female form of 'servant' by a change of ending, but could only indicate it with the feminine article (cf. Rom 16:1).  Aside from that, we also encounter the title diaconissa (and, similarly, presbyterissa and episcopissa) as a designation for the wives of deacons - for example, in papal instructions or conciliar canons that admonish higher clerics to practice celibacy, in the sense of continence.

Although there are records of the liturgical installation of deaconesses dating back to the fourth century, one must not overlook the fact that the selfsame authors who testify to this practice also make clear that the consecration of deaconesses was not the ordination of women to the diaconal ministry; on the contrary, it was a question of a different ecclesiastical office.

To the early Church it was clear that, without prejudice to the various degrees of bishop, presbyter, and deacon, which assumed a definitive form in the transition to the postapostolic age, these ministries owe their existence to the historical initiative of the apostles and to the special presence of the Holy Spirit in the foundational phase of the Church; whereas the latter, so-called nonsacramental consecrations were introduced by ecclesiastical authorities and thus are not matters of divine law but only of Church law." (pp. 48-49).

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches clearly that: "Deacons share in Christ's mission and grace in a special way. The sacrament of Holy Orders marks them with an imprint ('character') which cannot be removed and which configures them to Christ, who made himself the 'deacon' or servant of all. Among other tasks, it is the task of deacons to assist the bishop and priests in the celebration of the divine mysteries, above all the Eucharist, in the distribution of Holy Communion, in assisting at and blessing marriages, in the proclamation of the Gospel and preaching, in presiding over funerals, and in dedicating themselves to the various ministries of charity." (CCC, 1570).

And again: "Since the Second Vatican Council the Latin Church has restored the diaconate 'as a proper and permanent rank of the hierarchy,' while the Churches of the East had always maintained it. This permanent diaconate, which can be conferred on married men, constitutes an important enrichment for the Church's mission. Indeed it is appropriate and useful that men who carry out a truly diaconal ministry in the Church, whether in its liturgical and pastoral life or whether in its social and charitable works, should 'be strengthened by the imposition of hands which has come down from the apostles. They would be more closely bound to the altar and their ministry would be made more fruitful through the sacramental grace of the diaconate.'" (CCC, 1571).

Women cannot receive Holy Orders.  Period.  End of story.  The Sacrament of Holy Orders is conferred in the degrees of Bishop, Presbyter, and Deacon (See Lumen Gentium Nos. 18-29).  Tradition in its entirety has always firmly held that all degrees of ordination are essentially rooted in one sacrament, as being a repraesentatio Christi capitis [a representation of Christ the Head].

Once again, CNN has published a piece of drivel from a "journalist" who hasn't researched his subject.  This is what we've come to expect from the mainstream media: sheer nonsense.

And they do not fail to deliver.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Women want to overtake men, and mostly they are NOT the nicest ones but right on bitches, pardon my French.
God created Eve as the man's companion not to overrule him ( of course not to be his slave either)

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