Advocate for Women’s Ordination
Phyllis Zagano, writer for National Catholic Fishwrap, has begun a smear campaign against our beloved Fr Z. It appears she takes the fact that woman cannot be ordained to the Diaconate as a personal insult and feels it is her right to attack and insult the good Priests and Bishops who speak the truth. It would also appear that she has no idea what she is advocating for. She apparently thinks that the Deaconesses of old had some kind of power in the Church and if the
Church just re-established that order, all would be grand. What she, and the others like her, fail to realize is that they did not have any power, they were not ordained and they were not considered equal to the male deacons. They were not equal because they DID NOT receive any kind of Ordination whatsoever; not because women are inferior. She is fighting for something that never was in the first place.
The women who acted as Deaconesses provided services to other women to keep the male Priests from inappropriate situations. It was not appropriate for a male Priest to Baptize a woman using the immersion method. (It still isn’t.) Nor was it appropriate for male Priests to minster to sick women. They were in all ways serving the male Priesthood! Why do women like Phyllis want this reinstated in the Church? She is fighting, in the name of equality for women, to make women public servants to male Priests. (Helping Priests in these situations — and in general — is something good and I am not suggesting that doing so is degrading; but it makes her argument a self-refuting one.)
I have posted the Church’s teachings on Deaconesses before, but I feel compelled to re-post them now. They clearly show that the Roman Catholic Church NEVER ordained women to the Diaconate!
Tertullian ~ The Veiling of Virgins 9 (A.D. 206)
It is not permitted for a woman to speak in the church (1 Cor 14:34-35), but neither [is it permitted her] … to offer, nor to claim to herself a lot in any manly function, not to say sacerdotal office.
Hippolytus ~ The Apostolic Tradition 11(A.D. 215)
When a widow is to be appointed, she is not to be ordained, but is designated by being named [a widow]. …
A widow is appointed by words alone, and is then associated with the other widows. Hands are not imposed on her, because she does not offer the oblation and she does not conduct the liturgy.
Ordination is for the clergy because of the liturgy; but a widow is appointed for prayer, and prayer is the duty of all.
Council of Nicaea I ~ Canon 19 (A.D. 325)
Similarly, in regard to the deaconesses, as with all who are enrolled in the register, the same procedure is to be observed. We have made mention of the deaconesses, who have been enrolled in this position, although, not having been in any way ordained, they are certainly to be numbered among the laity.
Council of Laodicea ~ Canon 11 (A.D. 360)
The so-called presbyteresses or presidentesses are not to be ordained in the Church.
St. Epiphanius of Salamis, Father of the Church ~ Against Heresies (A.D. 377)
• It is true that in the Church there is an order of deaconesses, not for being a priestess nor for any kind of work of administration, but for the sake of the dignity of the female sex, either at the time of baptism or of examining the sick or suffering, so that the naked body of a female may not be seen by men administering sacred rites, but by the deaconess.(ibid)
• From this bishop [James the Just] and the just-named apostles, the succession of bishops and presbyters [priests] in the house of God have been established. Never was a woman called to these. … According to the evidence of Scripture, there were, to be sure, the four daughters of the evangelist Philip, who engaged in prophecy, but they were not priestesses. (ibid)
• If women were to be charged by God with entering the priesthood or with assuming ecclesiastical office, then in the New Covenant it would have devolved upon no one more than Mary to fulfill a priestly function. She was invested with so great an honor as to be allowed to provide a dwelling in her womb for the heavenly God and King of all things, the Son of God. … But He did not find this [the conferring of priesthood on her] good.(ibid, 79:3)
The Apostolic Constitutions ~ (A.D. 400)
• A virgin is not ordained, for we have no such command from the Lord, for this is a state of voluntary trial, not for the reproach of marriage, but on account of leisure for piety. (Apostolic Constitutions 8:24)
But if in the foregoing constitutions we have not permitted [women] to teach, how will any one allow them, contrary to nature, to perform the office of the priest? For this is one of the ignorant practices of Gentile atheism, to ordain women priests to the female deities, not one of the constitutions of Christ. (ibid, 3:9)
• A widow is not ordained; yet if she has lost her husband a great while and has lived soberly and unblamably and has taken extraordinary care of her family, as Judith and Anna those women of great reputation, let her be chosen into the order of widows. (ibid, 8:25)
• A deaconess does not bless, but neither does she perform anything else that is done by presbyters [priests] and deacons, but she guards the doors and greatly assists the presbyters, for the sake of decorum, when they are baptizing women. (ibid, 8:28)
Another argument that the feminazies use is that since Deacons are not Priests and the Church only forbids women Priests, then women Deacons are permissible. Wrong again. Fr. Chad Ripperger proved that Holy Orders cannot be divided. The requirement to receive part of Holy Orders is that they are able to receive all of the Sacrament.
Get over it Phyllis. You will never receive Ordination to the Diaconate, nor will any woman. Stop fighting for something that will never happen. If you love the Priesthood and Diaconate so much, get in touch with your “inner woman”, become a Spiritual Mother, and adopt one.