Roman Catholic Archbishop favors ordination of women deacons

On his Facebook page, Jesuit priest James Martin notes that Germany’s top Roman Catholic has come out in favor of allowing women to become deacons in the church.

I am always surprised to learn what women in the church of my childhood are not allowed to become or do (who knew how the pope would ruffle feathers by washing women’s feet on Maundy Thursday?). It’s not ordination to the priesthood, of course, but ordaining women as deacons would certainly be a step in the right direction. From the German English-language newspaper, The Local:

Germany’s top Roman Catholic has called for women to be allowed to become deacons, which would enable them to perform baptisms and marriages outside of mass – a novelty for Catholic women.

Archbishop of Freiburg Robert Zollitsch, who chairs the German Bishops’ Conference, called for the change at the end of a four-day meeting to discuss possible reforms.

The conference, the first of its kind, invited 300 Roman Catholic experts to propose reforms. Zollitsch’s comments echo year-long calls from the Central Committee of German Catholics to permit women to become deacons. On Sunday, Zollitsch said that aim was no longer a ‘taboo.’

Zollitsch said the Catholic Church could only regain credibility and strength by committing to reform. He described an “atmosphere of openness and freedom” at the conference.

Read full story here. Fr. Martin emphasizes on his FB page: “Just a note. There’s been no ‘decision’ made at all, not in Germany, not in the Vatican. Keep in mind that the Archbishop is only floating the idea. Still, it is significant that someone of his stature (head of a large bishops’s conference) is doing this.”

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