Saturday, November 1, 2014

Much Talk and Little Understanding of What the Permanent Diaconate is...

There is much talk and confusion regarding the Permanent Diaconate in Ireland at the moment, but what is also reflected in much of the discussion that is going on especially in the Diocese of Killaloe,  is the total lack of Catechesis and understanding of our Catholic Faith and the role of Ordained Ministers and the Sacraments of the Church.  

I found this article quite useful from the Catholic Defense Blog, in explaining why the Catholic Church does not ordain women as Deacons.

Can the Catholic Church Ordain Female Deacons?
The writer (Joe) says; 
I explained last week the basic reasons that the Catholic Church can't ordain female priests.  In response, Tess asks,
Joe, what are the Catholic Church's reasons for not allowing women to be permanent deaconesses? Deaconesses seem much more justifiable both scripturally and by early Tradition. Are different arguments used against them, or the same (ie that the Twelve were all men)?

This is a good question, and after responding, I realized it was probably one that other Christians struggle with. After all, doesn't St. Paul describe Phoebe as a "deaconess" in Romans 16:1?  So here are the basics of what you need to know.

The Apostles restricted the diaconate to men only:  The office of deacon is created in Acts 6:1-6.  And the Apostles give clear instructions in Acts 6:3 -- “brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task.”  The seven chosen are all men: Stephen, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolas (Acts 6:5).  That's not a coincidence.

Scripture is clear that the diaconate is male-only: In addition to the above, St. Paul lays out the requirements for deacons in 1 Timothy 3:8-13, and says things like “Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well” (1 Timothy 3:12).  As has been discussed before, that's a one wife limit, not minimum.  But Paul's requirements presuppose that the deacons are all men.  Not only would the one wife limit not apply to female deacons, but female deacons wouldn't be called to rule over their own houses (Ephesians 5:23). If God wanted (or permitted) women to serve as deacons, then 1 Timothy 3 would seem to be wrong.  Obviously, we can't conclude that Scripture was wrong, so it must be the push for a female diaconate that's wrong.

The rest of this article can be found here:  Catholic Defense Blogspot - Can the Catholic Church have women deacons

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