Vatican's Doctrinal Chief Plays Down Papal Commission on Women Deacons
Cardinal Gerhard Müller has dampened speculation that a study, commissioned by Pope Francis on the possibility of women deacons into the Church, would result in anything new.
Speaking to reporters at the Vatican today, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said the Vatican is preparing a list of experts on the theme, but stressed that a thorough study was conducted over a decade ago.
“We’re preparing a list on this theme, this historical theme,” he said, but added that the International Theological Commission had already conducted a “major study” in 2002 “with many experts” in systematic and dogmatic theology.
That study, entitled From the Diakonia of Christ to the Diakonia of the Apostles, found that female deacons of the early Church were unlike the ordained male diaconate of today.
It concluded women could not be ordained to the diaconate, although the matter was left to the future discernment of the magisterium.
Cardinal Müller further stressed to reporters today that he, too, has written three books on this theme, adding that his aim was to bring together all the texts of the early Church Fathers in order to “raise the level of discussion.”
Responding to a question last month from a religious sister, Pope Francis said he would set up a commission to study women deacons in the early Church.