Deacon Chat

Jun 18, 2017 | 10 comments

A commission to study the question of ordaining women deacons in the Roman Catholic Church was formally announced in August 2016 and began its work in November of 2016.

As the commission undertakes its work, it is important that Catholics — lay and ordained — undergo their own study and discernment of the history and present possibility of ordaining women to the diaconate.

An initiative called  “DeaconChat” has the goal of bringing Catholics, ordained and laity together in conversation to continue to learn and discern together on this subject.

For more click on the link below:-


  1. Martin Murray

    In one sense its great that we are getting opportunities to discuss the possibility of ordaining women to the diaconate. In another it shocking that we even have to. Let’s get on with it.

  2. Des Gilroy

    There was further evidence of the interest and enthusiasm of women in the promotion of the faith this month in the Diocese of Kilmore when forty-two participants in a three-year study of the Catechism were presented with their certificates. The participants in the course had met weekly during the term times and came from 18 parishes in the diocese. The diocesan website does not give the gender breakdown of the participants but looking at the photo on the site of those who turned up to receive their certificates, 25 were women and 8 were men. Those who say the future of the church is with the women may well be right.

  3. Noel McCann

    I am in complete agreement with Martin’s comment. Let’s get on with it.
    One concern, however, about deacons in general- female and male – what in their training and formation will ensure that they do not perpetuate the level of clericalism which has being so damaging to our church over the decades? It will not serve the future of the church if all we achieve via the diaconate is a partial solution to the ‘numbers’ problem – replacing ordained priests with ordained deacons. We need transformational cultural change if we are to survive – a mere change of clerical title will not achieve this.

  4. Mary Vallely

    Yes, Noel, well said and I’m afraid that is my concern too. The training is rigorous, perhaps even more so than priestly training and the wives are interviewed regularly by the local bishop to ensure that they are fully behind their deacon- in – training husbands. I would doubt very much if any flexibility of thinking outside the clerical box is allowed at all. I don’t want to take away from the genuine faith and willingness to serve that these deacons share but it strikes me that it would not suit anyone who dared to challenge any rule or any decision for fear of not getting through the various stages along the long road to Permanent Diaconate. No one should be ruled by any sort of fear of failing to please or failing to get the right marks in the assignments and exams and that is what I feel is the predominant emotion, not so much the joy that should be in first place. That said, those I know who are already serving or in their final year of training are good men and true with amazing wives! Not for me or my man, however. We’d both fail at the first hurdle!!! Probably wouldn’t even get in the door. ?

    • Teresa Mee

      It’s good to see that some kind of action is in process, though I find it difficult to acclaim the ordaining of deacons, which could lead to increasing the spread of the clerical net.

      Could anybody indicate what are the functions of a deacon beyond those of a layperson? I think, for example, that any good lay Scripture or Theology scholar should be available to give the Sunday homily. Likewise, the sacraments should not be used as barriers between lay and cleric. What riches we’re being deprived of!

  5. Martin Murray

    I agree with the reservations expressed about the diaconate perpetuating a clerical mindset. However these reservations should not be used as an excuse to exclude women. As long as its there for the men it should also be there for the women.

  6. Kevin Walters

    Firstly I would like to thank you Mary for your generous heart felt words of encouragement on the ACP Site, link closed shortly afterward, they were most appreciated, thank you Mary.
    I agree with Martin in that the diaconate perpetuating a clerical mind-set. As the present clerical system excludes so many including religious brothers and sisters as many of them could be ordained at this moment in time but are precluded (Males presently) because they are perceived as lacking educational qualifications (Capabilities) by the “elite” because for many that is what they see themselves as “set apart”. This mind-set of elitism stems from the time of the uneducated masses. In the West today education standards are higher information on any topic is instantly available on the net, this situation no longer applies.
    The edifice is crumbling as the clerical culture within it is incapable of confronting itself honestly because if it did so it would have to embrace humility, thankfully Our Lord Himself has given the Church the means to do this through The Image of Broken Man, if this were to happen the Truth would be embraced creating a catalyst for change, the Church would then emerge to form its true base that is one of humility, new inclusive structures would be formed as the Truth demands equality amongst her lovers.
    kevin your brother
    In Christ

  7. soconaill

    Well said, Kevin. Why cannot clergy see ‘the broken man’ as the image of both humility and divine solidarity with us in our own humiliations?

    Their loss of the socially dominant position they occupied just half-a-century ago in Ireland needs to be seen by clergy not so much as a reason for doubt as a divine rescue from the evil of elitism. They have been thrown overboard, like Jonah, but still haven’t tumbled to Jesus’ declaration that he would also be a sign of Jonah – to be rescued by God from the fish’s belly for the salvation of all.

    Humility is indeed the key: we all need to be broken – to be knit together again for a new beginning.

    • Kevin Walters

      “Humility is indeed the key:

      Thank you Sean for your comment rather than “we all need to be broken – to be knit together again for a new beginning”

      I would say we need to see ourselves as we truly are that is already broken if we do this it will create Unit of Purpose as we will walk in humility together.
      Yes humility (St. Bernard- Humility a virtue by which a man knowing himself as he truly is, abases himself) is the key but how do we induce humility within ourselves.
      I believe that this statement from Veritatis Splendor leads us in His Way

      “Conscience can never be authorized to legitimate exceptions to absolute moral norms that prohibit intrinsically evil acts by virtue of their object”
      as God’s Word the manifestation of Truth is inviolate, individual we can only stand before Him in His Divine Mercy as we can never justify sin. If we do this it will induces humility.

      We as Christians need to be seen by mankind in been honest with ourselves by acknowledging openly our warts and all in doing so we will be seen to be walking in obedience to the Truth (Way) if we do this His Light/Breath will dwell within us manifesting itself as humility a disarming action in the simplicity of been honest, as His Holy Spirit now dwelling within us will encompass those we encounter along the Way, leading them also to follow His Way of Truth/Love onto the pathway of humility.

      “Perfect faith has no fear”.

      We must distinguish between the fear of God (complacency in His Love) and that of being afraid of him. The Way/Path of Humility is never complacent as it ensures spiritual growth leading to eternal life.

      Is an act of humility too much to ask?

      Please continue in this link

      kevin your brother
      In Christ

      • Kevin Walters

        My post in the link above is not been shown; this link leads to the post

        Pope taps Little Brother of Jesus as rector of Rome’s seminary

        “The explicit request of Pope Francis” that Fr. Gabriele Faraghini, 51, be released for service as the seminary rector “was, for our little fraternity, a bolt out of the blue, a novelty that literally floored everyone,” said a note posted on the brothers’ website. But the order’s general chapter confirmed the nomination, which was announced July 31.

        Most of the brothers live in small communities with a home life revolving around Eucharistic adoration and prayer. Many of them, the priests included, are manual laborers, [“who strive simply to be a presence of friendship and solidarity with their co-workers and neighbors”]. Service in diocesan institutions and offices is not a normal part of their ministry, although it is not explicitly excluded.
        Continue in the link

        kevin your brother
        In Christ


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