Pope Francis is reported to be forming a commission to investigate the validity of a female diaconate. This is not the first time this issue has been discussed among the Catholic faithful, both theologically informed and uninformed. Furthermore, Church history has revealed female ‘deaconesses’ performing ‘deacon like’ functions in the ancient Church. But there were never any official ordinations, and this was before the diaconate was officially an ordination, per se.
What’s important to remember is that the Catholic Church is not in the sentiment pleasing business.
A female diaconate must be backed by sound theology. A male priesthood, imaged in Jesus Christ, the Groom, has sound and unshakeable theological validity. But what is the theological image bedrock for the diaconate? It seems to be service. And service seems open to both genders.
But is that enough for the formation of a female diaconate?
Remember, the deacon is intimately tied to the bishop. The deacon intimately serves the priest by freeing the priest to perform his vital liturgical and evangelical roles in preaching the Word, healing, and pastoring the flock of Christ. There is thus a necessary link to Jesus Christ and His Priesthood. As the male priesthood sacramentally signifies Christ in un-surpassing ways, can a female candidate to the diaconate be true to the symbolic sacramental reality of Christ’s Priesthood?
Is there, moreover, a pastoral, theological need further than the need to please the postmodern sentimentality which seeks gender neutrality?
In other words, does the female diaconate fit into the Truth of the hierarchy of Jesus Christ? Or is it just a whim of human invention?
Theologians, specializing in Sacramental Theology, particularly dealing with the theology and history of ordination, will deal with this through the pure lens of Catholic Theological Tradition, inspired by the Holy Spirit. Charity will be best served if Catholics, particularly American and European Catholics, understand that the findings of this inquiry are to be found solely in sound theology, Catholic Theological Tradition, and a heavy dose of prayer; yet not from political correctness, the pressures of radical feminism, and the postmodern foolishness otherwise known as gender neutrality–in search of an imaginarily elusive gender equality in all things.
Catholics must enter this theological inquiry seeking for only one thing: Truth.
And in doing so, ultimate Justice will once again be served.
As it always is in Catholic Truth.
The question is, will the world, and the worldly, accept the Truth?