A number of women who are heavily involved in their parishes in the diocese of Killaloe have spoken of their disapproval and disappointment at the proposed introduction of a male only permanent diaconate in the diocese.
They have also questioned the need for yet another ‘layer of clericalism’ in what could be argued is an already over-clericalised church. The women argue that much of the work of deacons is already being performed by lay people (mostly women) in their parishes and the provision is already there for further duties to be taken up. Alongside or alternative to the permanent diaconate they advocate for a more imaginative use of trained, motivated and empowered lay people, both male and female. As a result a letter from Bishop Kieran O’Reilly was read out at all masses in the diocese last weekend saying that the proposal had been put on hold for the present, while discussion continued. (Read Bishop’s letter here).
You can listen to some of the women’s views expressed on Clare FM Morning Focus with John Cooke, here:-
Clare FM Morning Focus Podcasts Page (Choose ‘Women Speak out on Church Plans for Deacons’ and ‘An Inclusive Church – Public Meeting’)
Also read about it on the Irish Times website (Tues 16th Sept 2014).
And Fr Tony Flannery also comments on the development on the Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) website.