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Old 13th November 2018, 07:42 PM
Brother Brother is offline
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,887
Default Were there women deacons already?

Canon # 15 of the Council of Chalcedon (451 A.D.) states the following:

"15 No woman under forty years of age is to be ordained a deacon, and then only after close scrutiny. If after receiving ordination and spending some time in the ministry she despises God's grace and gets married, such a person is to be anathematised along with her spouse."

Per this Canon, women 40 and over were allowed to be deacons after close scrutiny.

The following article By Phyllis Zagano talks regarding women deacons in the early Church:

“At least 25 years ago the late Archbishop of New York Cardinal John O’Connor told me there were secret discussions in Rome about restoring women to the ordained diaconate.”

“Here is where the problem lies: In many parts of the early church, women and men were ordained as deacons. Gradually a hierarchy (deacon then priest then bishop) developed, although for many years bishops were chosen from among the deacons as well as from among priests.”
John 3:27; John 15:5; Matthew 19:26
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Old 14th November 2018, 12:00 AM
St. Thomas More St. Thomas More is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New York State
Posts: 367
Default Deaconesses?

My understanding is that the female deacons, at that time, had very specific roles, and were inferior in authority to male deacons. For instance, they would baptize unclothed females in full immersion baptisms.

When the vocation of nuns arose, they supplanted deaconesses, and females with vocations would get thee to the nunnery.

It seems to me that introducing female deacons seems unnecessary, and will make it harder to resist the modernist calls for female priests, which would be contrary to the Faith.
St. Thomas More
--"The King's Good Servant, but God's First"
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Old 15th November 2018, 12:56 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12,628

Deaconesses of the past were non-ordained. There are some possible problems, if the Church decides to start ordaining women deacons. The real question is whether the Church has the authority form Christ to ordain women to the diaconate. I believe that She does, because women already may administer the two Sacraments, extraordinarily, that deacons dispense ordinarily: to baptize and to preside at weddings. Also, the role of deacon is primarily a role of service. Finally, women deacons need not be the same as male deacons in all things.
Ron Conte
Roman Catholic theologian
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Old 15th November 2018, 10:33 PM
jbbt9 jbbt9 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 560
Default Canon # 15 of the Council of Chalcedon (451 A.D.)

Ron, When you say that deaconesses of the past were non ordained I am wondering if there is some error concerning Brother's Nov 13th post above: Re: Canon # 15 of the Council of Chalcedon (451 A.D.)
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