Pope Francis Establishes Commission to Study Church History of Non-Ordained Wome
Anyone want to take a wild guess at to what the commission's findings will be?

I guess everyone forgot the in depth study (that took five years) that was already done regarding this question pretty recently.  The whole results are here:


The General Secretary for the ITC summarized it here in response to mischaracterizations at the time:

Basically, the result was that the evidence points to "no," but only the Magisterium, not the ITC, can pronounce on it authoritatively.
So what happens if the pope pushes this through?
I wish he'd set up a commission to study the disappearance of men from church. That seems more pressing to me than the idea of women deacons.
The commission is actually stacked against women being ordained to the diaconate. The only one in favor is Zagano and she is not to be taken seriously.
I asked three knowledgeable clergy about the other members and they don't count any that would support it.

(08-02-2016, 04:13 PM)GangGreen Wrote: So what happens if the pope pushes this through?

Nothing. God won't let him. The sacrament of Holy Orders is reserved to men.
From what I've been reading, the argument for it (at least the serious one) is that the priesthood and headship of Christ require maleness, and this is only exercised by bishops and priests, but not deacons, who only have the ministry of service.  The argument against it is the unity of the sacrament and the apparent constant historical precedent (I personally find this arguments the most compelling).

What's interesting is, with regards to the "for" argument, the distinction between deacons and bishops/priests has been made more explicit in recent years. 

Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI actually amended the CCC and the CIC, respectively, to greater make this distinction (although these amendments seem to have never made it into the online version).  I can't find where JPII's act is recorded, but Benedict XVi references it in his Motu Propio modifying a few canons:

Benedict XVI, Omnium in Mentem Wrote:First, in can. 1008 and can. 1009 of the Code of Canon Law, on the sacrament of Holy Orders, the essential distinction between the common priesthood of the faithful and the ministerial priesthood is reaffirmed, while the difference between the episcopate, the presbyterate and the diaconate is made clear. Inasmuch as my venerable Predecessor John Paul II, after consulting the Fathers of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, ordered that the text of n. 1581 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church be modified in order better to convey the teaching on deacons found in the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium of the Second Vatican Council (n. 29), I have determined that the canonical norm concerning this subject should likewise be adjusted. Consequently, after hearing the view of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, I decree that the words of the aforementioned canons are to be modified as set forth below.
Art. 1. The text of can. 1008 of the Code of Canon Law is modified so that hereafter it will read:

"By divine institution, some of the Christian faithful are marked with an indelible character and constituted as sacred ministers by the sacrament of holy orders. They are thus consecrated and deputed so that, each according to his own grade, they may serve the People of God by a new and specific title";

Art 2. Henceforth can. 1009 of the Code of Canon Law will have three paragraphs. In the first and the second of these, the text of the canon presently in force are to be retained, whereas the new text of the third paragraph is to be worded so that can. 1009 § 3 will read:

"Those who are constituted in the order of the episcopate or the presbyterate receive the mission and capacity to act in the person of Christ the Head, whereas deacons are empowered to serve the People of God in the ministries of the liturgy, the word and charity".

Here are what the canons said before amendment:
canons prior to amendment Wrote:Can.  1008 By divine institution, the sacrament of orders establishes some among the Christian faithful as sacred ministers through an indelible character which marks them. They are consecrated and designated, each according to his grade, to nourish the people of God, fufilling in the person of Christ the Head the functions of teaching, sanctifying, and governing.

Can.  1009 §1. The orders are the episcopate, the presbyterate, and the diaconate.

§2. They are conferred by the imposition of hands and the consecratory prayer which the liturgical books prescribe for the individual grades.

Here's what the apparently unamended CCC section says:

CCC Wrote:1581 This sacrament configures the recipient to Christ by a special grace of the Holy Spirit, so that he may serve as Christ's instrument for his Church. By ordination one is enabled to act as a representative of Christ, Head of the Church, in his triple office of priest, prophet, and king.

The only place I can find the new CCC 1581:

amended 1581, per Archbishop Francesco Coccopalmerio, President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts Wrote:Ab eo (sc. Christo) Episcopi et presbyteri missionem et facultatem agendi in persona Christi Capitis accipiunt, diaconi vero vim populo Dei serviendi in 'diaconia' liturgiae, verbi et caritatis.

The paragraph referenced from Lumen Gentium given as justification for amendments:

Vatican II, Lumen Gentium Wrote:29. At a lower level of the hierarchy are deacons, upon whom hands are imposed "not unto the priesthood, but unto a ministry of service."(74*) For strengthened by sacramental grace, in communion with the bishop and his group of priests they serve in the diaconate of the liturgy, of the word, and of charity to the people of God. It is the duty of the deacon, according as it shall have been assigned to him by competent authority, to administer baptism solemnly, to be custodian and dispenser of the Eucharist, to assist at and bless marriages in the name of the Church, to bring Viaticum to the dying, to read the Sacred Scripture to the faithful, to instruct and exhort the people, to preside over the worship and prayer of the faithful, to administer sacramentals, to officiate at funeral and burial services. Dedicated to duties of charity and of administration, let deacons be mindful of the admonition of Blessed Polycarp: "Be merciful, diligent, walking according to the truth of the Lord, who became the servant of all."(75*)

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