Commission for the Study of the Diaconate of Women

(Vatican Radio)
In the course of a dialogue during a meeting with the participants in the Plenary Assembly of Superiors General, which took place in May, Pope Francis expressed his intention to “establish an official commission that could study the question” of the diaconate of women, “especially with regard to the first ages of the Church.”
After intense prayer and mature reflection, Pope Francis has decided to institute the Commission for the Study of the Diaconate of Women. As president of the Commission, Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, SJ. In addition to Archbishop Ladaria, the commission is composed of six women and six men from academic institutions around the world.
Below, is a list of the members of the Commission for the Study of the Diaconate of Women:
Abp Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, S.J., Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Sr. Nuria Calduch‑Benages, M.H.S.F.N., member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission;
Prof. Francesca Cocchini, of the «La Sapienza» University, and of the Patristic Institute “Augustinianum,” Rome;
Msgr. Piero Coda, President of the University Institute «Sophia», Loppiano, and member of the International Theological Commission;
Fr Robert Dodaro, O.S.A., President of the Patristic Institute “Augustinianum,” Rome and professor of patrology;
Fr Santiago Madrigal Terrazas, S.J., professor of ecclesiology at the Pontifical University “Comillas,” Madrid;
Sr Mary Melone, S.F.A., Rector of the Pontifical University “Anonianum,” Rome;
Fr Karl‑Heinz Menke, professor emeritus of dogmatic theology at the University of Bonn and member of the International Theological Commission;
Fr Aimable Musoni, S.D.B., professor of ecclesiology at the Pontifical Salesian University, Rome;
Fr Bernard Pottier, S.J., professor at the “Institut d’Etudes Théologiques,” Brussels, and member of the International Theological Commission;
Prof. Marianne Schlosser, professor of spiritual theology at the University of Vienana, and member of the International Theological Commission;
Prof. Michelina Tenace, professor of fundamental theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome;
Prof. Phyllis Zagano, professor at Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York.

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  1. This is possibly very significant. I didn’t expect that Phyllis Zagano and Mary Melone would get on the commission. It is a real change.

  2. Eddie Finnegan says:

    It seems that for a mere man to have something useful to contribute on the question of women in the Diaconate he’d better get himself ordained to the priesthood first, preferably as a Jesuit, an Augustinian or at least a Salesian. Not even male deacons, apparently, need open their mouths.

  3. Regarding the question of Women Deacons: it is remarkably noteworthy that the Synoptic Gospel accounts are included in the study formation for the Diaconate. John’s Gospel account (a priceless treasure in receiving salvation) is not on the agenda. I wonder why? Could it be, perhaps, that John’s account illustrates the simple, unmediated access we ALL have with God – through Christ alone? It is irrefutably edifying that, with the Gospel and, indeed, the Holy Scriptures in their completion, we all have unfettered access to God – through Christ. This dwarfs the (much-feared) successor to the Office of the Inquisition (the C.D.F.) – which is really no more than a side-issue since the Bible is the all-sufficient means to salvation.
    Jarlath Vaughan
    Ballykinlar Parish; Down + Connor

  4. Mary Vallely says:

    Yes, Eddie, I totally agree. Permanent Diaconate training means total submission to the status quo and that applies also to the wives. It seems to me that the training is even more rigorous and fear filled than that undergone by one studying for the priesthood. I would doubt very much that any woman would wish to train for the diaconate unless she were free to give voice to her thoughts and opinions. We do not make progress if we are not allowed to question.

  5. A diversion designed to shut women up re Ordination to the Priesthood and full equality. Look for a non-sacramental female deaconate, a women’s auxiliary to do the dirty work.

  6. Maureen Mulvaney says:

    I welcome this Commission on the “Women’s Diaconate”. I also understand the reservations some have about, “What woman would want to train for the diaconate where she is not free to speak her mind.
    Let me think back to the role of the Presidency. For me it was just a figure-head, until two women brought it to a whole new level. These women, with their vibrant personalities, intelligence, skills, gifts and creativity were able to “make the change”.
    While this is just a small step “in the back door”, I believe women must be included in all ministries, priesthood, governance, preaching and teaching, if we are to achieve justice and equality in our Catholic Church.

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