ASK FATHER: Msgr. Mannion supports ordination of deaconettes. Fail.

Posted July 28, 2017 3:22 pm by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

ASK FATHER: Msgr. Mannion supports ordination of deaconettes. Fail.

From a reader…
QUAERITUR:
One of our Diocesan (Salt Lake City) Priests [Msgr. M. Francis Mannion] wrote an op-ed for our local Diocese Newspaper entitled “Some Items That Caught My Attention Recently”. In this piece, (HERE) he talks about how the Eastern Rite has ordained numerous Deaconesses (Africa). He then goes on to opine how he agrees with women Deacons and see this move by our Eastern friends as a boon and boost to the cause for women Deacons in the Roman Rite.
First, is it true that women have been ordained in the Eastern Church Rite as Deaconesses?
If so, is there merit to it lending support to the same in our beloved Rite?
Let’s drill down in what the good Monsignor posted concerning deaconesses (aka deaconettes).
What did Msgr. Mannion publish?  He has several topics, but eventually gets down to the issue of deaconettes.  He wrote (with my numbers):
On Deaconesses: [1] The Catholic Church is always concerned never to do anything that would offend the theology and practice of the Orthodox Churches. [2] On the matter of the ordination of deaconesses, however, the Orthodox Churches might be ahead of us.[3] Recently, the Patriarch of Alexandria appointed six deaconesses. [4] The Patriarch is no minor ecclesiastic; he is, in fact, the head of the entire Orthodox Church in Africa.[5] The move follows years of discussion within the various branches of Orthodoxy on whether to reinstate the office of women deacons. [6] Closer to home, this comes at a time when the Greek Orthodox Church in the Americas is studying the matter.
As one who favors the institution of the diaconate for women in the Catholic Church, I think the decision of the Patriarch of Alexandria should give a boost to the current Vatican study about the diaconate for Catholic women.
There is not a single sentence in what Msgr. Mannion wrote that is correct.
Let’s break it down… in a moment
Some of you might be saying,

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