Things are spinning out of control.
The last ditch effort of the progressives to impose their contrary will upon the Church is in full swing. Full swing. [ht Rorate]
Germany’s top Roman Catholic has called for women to be allowed to become deacons, which would enable them to perform baptisms and marriages outside of mass – a novelty for Catholic women.
The conference, the first of its kind, invited 300 Roman Catholic experts to propose reforms. Zollitsch’s comments echo year-long calls from the Central Committee of German Catholics to permit women to become deacons. On Sunday, Zollitsch said that aim was no longer a ‘taboo.’
Zollitsch said the Catholic Church could only regain credibility and strength by committing to reform. He described an “atmosphere of openness and freedom” at the conference.
Deacons assist priests during church services and can perform baptisms and marriages outside of mass. Their primary role however is to serve the needy in their community and their duties are considered secular rather than pastoral.
Another proposal to emerge from the conference was to extend the rights of remarried divorcees to sit on church bodies such as parish councils. Conference members also discussed the possibility of granting them the right to receive Holy Communion and attend confession.
“It’s important to me that, without undermining the sanctity of marriage, these men and women are taken seriously within the church and feel respected and at home,” said Zollitsch. At present the reforms remain speculative and there is no proposed time-frame for their implementation. The position of divorcees remains highly controversial within the Church.
This is not the endgame, rather it is just the opening salvo in a larger battle.
The Pope must put a stop to this nonsense now, before things get completely out of control.
April 30, 2013 at 4:51 am
From your mouth to God's ears.
April 30, 2013 at 6:57 am
Road to hell… skulls of bishops.
April 30, 2013 at 7:34 am
Do these clergy actually think they are helping the Church??? All they are doing is causing descent from inside which destroys faith even quicker! What a horrible example for the clergy and religious who he is responsible for.
April 30, 2013 at 7:56 am
Yes, well, to be exact: Archbishop Zollitsch does note propose female deacons in the strict sense of allowing women to become deacons, but he wants to invent a new, non-sacramental office in church – that of a female deacon.
What exactly it would be called, I don't know. Deaconette maybe? Obviously, this would only lead to confusion. And also obviously, it would simply be perceived as a first step, and demands to have fully sacramental female deacons, priests, bishops and a popette would follow immediately.
But all that is pure Zollitsch. The head of the German Bishops' Conference always makes the impression of being a harmless, slighty confused bureaucrat, when in fact he is not harmless and very confused. Back in lent 2009, he caused a major stir when he denied in a TV interview that Christ has died for our sins. So, that's the type of person we're talking about here.
April 30, 2013 at 8:27 am
The possibility of deaconnesses is not a new proposal, and the office seems to have existed in the early Church. It does not necessarily follow that they would witness weddings or perform baptisms. Didn't Benedict XVI suggest the question was an open question? Wake up, people! Ideology poisons everything. Forget being a conservative Catholic, and stop cursing the liberal Catholics. Follow the lead of Benedict and Francis. Just be Catholic. Ideology taints all it touches.
April 30, 2013 at 11:37 am
Female 'deacons' did exist in SOME particular Eastern Churches in the past and even up to today but they have never been equivalent to the lowest degree of Holy Orders. They were perhaps equivalent to consecrated virgins or religious sisters. They were never a part of the Roman rite. The Diaconate is not a primarily secular role. The primary of role of any man in Holy Orders of whatever degree is liturgical. It is because he is in Holy Orders that the man also shares in the role of governance and therefore of pastoral care. Zollitsch and his ilk should get short shrift from Rome for this nonsense.
April 30, 2013 at 5:08 pm
No doubt the Pope will offer a pastoral solution.
April 30, 2013 at 5:17 pm
There is no last ditch. Then you go and contradict yourself by saying it isn't the endgame but an opening salvo. What? An opening salvo from the last ditch? Forget the warfare analogies; use disease analogies instead. Progressives are ill with a contagious disease- indeed this disease often manifests itself in milder forms among Catholics who wish to appear reasonable, charitable, etc…
But we are living with a political monopoly and what we keep seeing is a left/right play in a sphere I think none of us wants politics to be in. Here is a thought- communion wine. It is nasty crap, unworthy of our Lord. Simple sense, plus all that lovely doctrine about the local Church (which you can find somewhere in the Roman world if you look hard enough) ought to dictate that the local diocese ought to be able to purchase better wine- preferably local, but regional realities are what they are.
Another, and worse thought, is that the wheat currently being used isn't very much like one of the three kinds of wheat that Jesus was familiar with. We've got thousands of hybrids now, and none of our great leaders thought of that one. They'll say it must be wheat, but then leave the definition of wheat to Monsanto and other big ag companies.
There are other examples, like allowing bishops to ordain married men if necessary in their diocese, but this is so politically charged- and to the uninformed, it sounds progressive- that it doesn't function well as an example, so I invite you to think of the less politically charged examples. When they make glow-in-the-dark 'wheat' will anyone say no, or will glow-in-the-dark Eucharist be a new addition to the midnight Mass?
April 30, 2013 at 5:18 pm
I know there were deaconesses in the early church, but I was under the impression they assisted at the baptism of women converts. I know some women who would make superb deacons, but they would never think of it unless the Pope approved. (Unlike the womanpriests in Kentucky).
April 30, 2013 at 5:21 pm
This bishop turns 75 in August.
April 30, 2013 at 5:29 pm
August, perhaps you need to collect your thoughts and then try to stay on topic. This article was not written by CMR so criticizing the war terminology is irrelevant. If you want to make a reasoned argument for deaconesses, please do. But your stream-of-consciousness chatter makes no useful point.
April 30, 2013 at 5:31 pm
"The Pope must put a stop to this nonsense now, before things get completely out of control."
He won't. 'collegiality'.
Mahoney classlessly slams Pope emeritus Benedict. nothing.
Lombardi (Vatican spokesman!) comes out for couplings other than marriage. nothing.
Zollitsch is following Lehmann and Kasper's dissident lead. nothing.
O'Malley has Obama (of "God bless you Planned Parenthood!" fame) speak from the ambo at his cathedral. nothing.
Schonborn wants gay couplings recognized. nothing.
On the old dissidents crawling out of the woodwork, and on the issues threatening to strangle the Church VERY soon, here's what's coming out of the Domus Sanctae Marthae….
…and then one sighs with a tear in the eye as she imagines what might have been…
NO crickets chirping there. Ever. sigh.
April 30, 2013 at 8:57 pm
If people want to use the East (having had some form of woman 'deacon' in the past to help with women converts because of our style of full-immersion baptism) to argue for women deacons- can the same theologians use us for other points?- no women in the sanctuary…never any extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist…..of course Eucharist never in hand…looooong Liturgies….you have to stay and eat something after mass, no running away!….etc, etc- no? Then, please, don't make us look 'liberal' (married priesthood for us is actually 'conservative'…)
April 30, 2013 at 10:26 pm
Mary Kay, the war terminology is not in the article- it is on CMR. Look at the post- one is above the block quote, another is below the block quote.
My ramblings make a point. That point is neither 'The pope must put his foot down' nor is it pro-deaconess. Both of these positions are silly.
This is how we are rendered ineffective- we are forever waiting for a foot to come down while the progressives steal us blind. By the time the next generation of conservatives show up, they think tradition is what the last generation of progressives already put into place. Sooner or later we shall have a progressive pope. Already this one says "FORWARD!" in an alarmingly Obama-esque way.
April 30, 2013 at 10:44 pm
Archbishop Zollitsch: the Episcopal Church welcomes you.
April 30, 2013 at 11:02 pm
Yes, there were women called "deaconesses" in the early Church. They had one prime function: to baptize adult women converts?
They did this because baptism was perfomed nude. That stopped in the 5th century in the West. Deaconesses disappeared at the same time.
Brother Forde is right, these women did not receive any Holy Orders, they were lay women given a specific role to preserve modesty. That is all. Allowing women to perform marriage would be a radical novelty. I would really like to understand whether such marriages would be valid, since marriages normally occur in a Mass.
This is nothing but a foot in the door towards women's ordination. That is entire point of this heterodoxy. This will not "satiate" women, but inspire even more to fall into dissent and heresy.
And giving Communion to those objectively persisting in mortal sin, who exist in a state of adultery, is unbelievable. But I have no doubt it will be reality very soon.
May 1, 2013 at 7:48 am
If Pope Benedict didn't discipline Cdl. Zollitsch, what makes you think Pope Francis will?
In another thread, I argue that the Catholic Church is effectively apostate, for various reasons. I received all kinds of blowback because of it. Well, when Zollitsch publicly denies the dogma of propitiation (the fancy word that describes Christ receiving God's legitimate anger at sin in place of the human race) and Pope Benedict — who has the reputation as a theological stickler — refuses to discipline him publicly…well, is there any other conclusion, especially with all the episcopal malfeasance that Susan lists?
May 1, 2013 at 5:09 pm
It's a shame that the topic of deaconesses (not female deacons) gets caught up in the discussion of female priests or other "progressive" standards. The reality is that we know a couple of things about deaconesses in the early Church, but that much is unclear. Here's what we know for certain:
– deaconesses existed
– they were not just female deacons, theirs was a distinct office with different roles and responsibilities
– in some places, they were certainly not ordained to Holy Orders
– in other places it was not so clear whether they were ordained to Holy Orders
– the office persisted longer in the East, and the modern expression in the East *is* ordination to Holy Orders
We do *not* know with certainty that the office of deaconess in Roman Church was a lay office. Sources like the Apostolic Constitutions describe a rite that is barely discernible from the ordination rite of deacons. But other sources are pretty emphatic about not ordaining deaconess.
The reality is that a female diaconate is an open question right now. Everything about women's ordination has been about women's ordination to the priesthood. And because of the women's ordination noise, it's a question that we probably can't answer right now.