Apr 21, 2007

The Tidings runs another "women's ordination" column

I do not find it in the online edition (click on this post's title) of this week's (April 20) issue of the Tidings, but page 16 of the print edition carries a column by one Phyllis Zagano, "Is the [P]ope moving toward women's ordination?"

She claims to think isolated words of Pope Benedict suggest he is leaning toward having deaconesses.

She uses a typically false liberal line: "As Catholicism is increasingly bereft of priests..."

Guess she's never heard of the orthodox parishes, dioceses and whole countries in which priestly vocations are flourishing.

The Tidings strikes again! But what else is new?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

the column you are referring to is available on another website:

10:00 AM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Anonymous 10 a.m.,

Thanks very much for the link!

3:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Kansas City.Com

For Catholics, women’s ordination may be here sooner than you think
Yes, I know all about the chances of snowballs surviving in the netherworld, but I still think Pope Benedict XVI is moving toward ordaining Catholic women.

Three times in the last year or so, the pope’s comments leaned in that direction. The telltale words are “governance” and “ministry.” Each is technically reserved to the ordained.

In the flood of ideas coming from the scholar-pope, the theme of charity stands out. Would a pope turning 80 on April 16 ordain women to minister in charity?

A year ago, a Rome priest publicly asked Benedict if women could be included formally in Church governance and ministry. Surprisingly, Benedict said yes. He said so again on German television last August.

Then, on Valentine’s Day, he threw a bouquet to women, recognizing their discipleship in the early church. Before 20,000 people in the Vatican’s General Audience Hall, Benedict recalled that Lazarus’ sisters, Mary and Martha, as well as Mary Magdalene, were close disciples of Jesus. He reminded the crowd that Thomas Aquinas called Mary Magdalene the “apostle to the apostles.” She did, after all, announce Jesus’ Resurrection.

The pope acknowledged St. Paul’s conflicting sentiments: In Christ there is neither male nor female, yet women should keep silent in church. Conflicting? Yes. Decided? No. That, Benedict said, should be left to biblical scholars.

And biblical scholars know well what women did in the early church.

Benedict did not use the word “diaconate” (the ministry of deacons), but he leans in that direction, coinciding with the historical record of women’s ministry. Women once were deacons. That is a historical fact.

Does history matter? Well, Benedict is a theologian with an eye for history. He knows that what the church once did, it can do again. He, too, knows about the piles of historical documentation of women deacons.

When Benedict talks about women, he always begins by deflecting the idea of women priests, pointing out that Jesus chose male apostles from among his men and women disciples. Such is the Catholic Church’s fundamental argument against women priests.

But that has nothing to do with women deacons. In fact, Benedict has now — three times — reiterated that women were actively engaged in Jesus’ ministry. And “ministry” is the key word when we’re talking about deacons.

Ministry is what deacons do: They minister in and through the word, the liturgy and charity. Deacons preach. Deacons participate in the Mass. Deacons manage the Church’s charity, or at least they used to.

Deacons watched over the stores and treasures of the early church. They cared for the poor and the orphaned, for the homeless and the widows with church funds, properties, and possessions. They even paid the salaries of the priests.

That may not be the case today, but it begs the question: why not? As Catholicism is increasingly bereft of priests it is concurrently flooded with deacons — there are over 15,000 in the United States alone. These are capable men, able to run a parish plant, manage Catholic charities, or oversee the cemeteries or the various aid societies of a parish or a diocese. They can free priests to do priestly — rather than diaconal — ministry.

If Catholicism were to return to its older tradition, that would add women to the mix. Then women could oversee church money and properties on behalf of the pastor or the bishop. What if women watched where the money went? Perhaps then there might be more money around for the poor and maybe fewer financial scandals.

And what if women deacons ministering in charity could preach each Sunday? Would not the church hear more about the way the gospel functions in the real world, here and now, in the 21st century?

It’s just a thought, but it might be Benedict’s idea too.

Religion News Service Phyllis Zagano is senior research-associate-in-residence in the religion department of Hofstra University and author of Holy Saturday: An Argument for the Restoration of the Female Diaconate in the Catholic Church.

5:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah yeah. They also said that he was going to start allowing condoms. We all know what happened to that ....


2:10 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Dear Jehu,

Yes, that's a good point. They say a lot of empty things about the Popes and the Church. All the more reason that The Tidings should not publish them!

9:55 PM  

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