Monday, May 20, 2024

CBS 60 Mins: Pope Francis 'No' to Women Deacons

Pope Francis' Stance on Women Deacons: An Analysis

In a recent interview with CBS's "60 Minutes," Pope Francis reaffirmed the Catholic Church's stance on the ordination of women, specifically addressing the role of women deacons. The pontiff's definitive "no" to the possibility of women receiving Holy Orders as deacons has sparked discussions and reactions across the Catholic community and beyond.

The interview, which aired on Paramount Plus, featured Pope Francis responding to questions about the potential for women to serve as deacons within the Church. He emphasized that while women have historically held roles akin to deaconesses, these did not equate to ordained ministry within Holy Orders.

This position aligns with the traditional teachings of the Catholic Church, which reserves the sacrament of Holy Orders for men. The pope's comments come at a time when the role of women in the Church is a subject of significant debate, especially in light of the ongoing three-year synodal process that has been exploring various aspects of Church life, including the question of women's leadership.

Pope Francis has previously established two commissions to study the historical role of women deacons in the Church. However, the findings of these commissions have not been publicly disclosed. The general assembly of the Synod on Synodality in October 2023 concluded that the topic of women deacons required further study and conversation, and the results of the first study commission are expected to be presented at the Synod assembly in October 2024. 


Advocates for the ordination of women to the diaconate have expressed disappointment and surprise at the pope's firm stance, especially considering the ongoing discussions and studies. Some see this as a contradiction to the synodal approach of "journeying together," which encourages open dialogue and consultation within the Church.

The pope's recent remarks have clarified his position, leaving little room for speculation about the Church's direction on this matter under his leadership. While the debate on women's roles in the Church is likely to continue, Pope Francis' statements have set a clear boundary on the issue of women's ordination to the diaconate.

The Church did have deaconesses in the early times, but these were not ordained deacons, see: https://www.sacerdotus.com/2024/03/did-catholic-church-ordain-women-deacons.html. The Catholic Church cannot ordain women. She simply does not have the authority or commission from Christ to do so, see https://www.sacerdotus.com/2024/03/why-catholic-church-cannot-ordain-women.html

The pope also clarified that he never okayed or endorsed blessing so-called Gay Unions, only persons in the union.  He made it clear that these unions are not a Sacrament and cannot be blessed.  The interview has affirmed that Pope Francis is indeed a pope who adheres to the teachings of the Church and will defend it.  He also showed his style is pastoral. 

As the Catholic Church moves forward, it remains to be seen how this stance will impact the discussions and outcomes of the synodal process, and whether the voices advocating for change will influence future considerations.



Sources:

Pope Francis says no to women deacons in ‘60 Minutes’ interview | America Magazine

Pope Francis on CBS’ ‘60 Minutes’: ‘No’ to female deacons | Catholic News Agency

Pope Francis rules out female diaconate - Catholic news – La Croix International (la-croix.com)


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