Pope Francis may soon initiate a commission to study ordaining women as deacons in the Catholic Church, according to media reports today (May 12). Equality of women in the Church has long been an issue with Church reform movement Voice of the Faithful, which would welcome such a commission.
VOTF has long been called for all baptized Catholics—women and men—to have equal access to all positions within the Church and a voice in all decision-making processes. VOTF encourages conversation on all ministries and opportunities for women, with special attention to restoring the female diaconate.
Phyllis Zagano, Ph.D., senior research associate-in-residence, Hofstra University, has written widely regarding a women’s diaconate in the Church and spoken often to VOTF audiences. She said today: “I am delighted that in this time of Pentecost the Spirit has brought the question of women deacons to the Holy Father’s mind, and I hope and pray that I will be able to assist whatever commission he establishes.” Zagano is the author of Women Deacons? Essays with Answers, and the recipient of VOTF’s St. Catherine of Siena Distinguished Layperson award.
The Pope made his comments on the possibility of a commission to study a women’s diaconate during a meeting in Rome today of the International Union of Superior Generals, which represents about a half million Catholic women religious.
Voice of the Faithful presents its views on women deacons on its website in a paper it commissioned from Carolyn Johnson, Ed.D. Click here to read “Women Deacons: How Long Will It Take the Catholic Church to Open This Door,” and click here to see a bibliography of suggested readings on women in the Church that VOTF compiled for its 10th Year Conference in 2011.
Voice of the Faithful®: Voice of the Faithful® is a worldwide movement of faithful Roman Catholics working to support survivors of clergy sexual abuse, support priests of integrity and increase the laity’s role in the governance and guidance of the Church. More information is at www.votf.org.