Theological commission excludes ordination of women deacons

 The International Theological Commission has issued the following response today a media article on women being ordained as deacons: 'The general secretary of the International Theological Commission, Fr Georges Cottier, OP, has responded to certain questions about the Commission's study of the diaconate raised in the October 8 issue of 'La Croix'. Fr Cottier stated that the Commission's study has not concluded that the possibility that women could be ordained to the diaconate remains open, as asserted by La Croix, but rather tends to support the exclusion of this possibility.' 'The Commission of theologians ... presented two important indications which emerge from study of the matter. In the first place, the Commission observed that the deaconesses mentioned in the tradition of the early Church cannot simply be assimilated to ordained deacons. In support of this conclusion, Fr Cottier noted that both the rite of institution and the functions exercised by deaconesses distinguished them from ordained deacons. 'Furthermore, Fr. Cottier noted that the Commission's study reaffirmed the unity of the sacrament of Holy Orders. The distinction between the ministry of bishops and priests, on the one hand, and that of deacons, on the other hand, is nonetheless embraced within the unity of the sacrament of Holy Orders. 'Fr Cottier stated that 'it belongs to the Magisterium to pronounce with authority on the question, taking into account the historical and theological research presented by the study of the International Theological Commission'. 'The International Theological Commission devoted over five years of research to the topic of the history and theology of the diaconate before approving the text of its study at its recently concluded meeting. The study was produced at the request of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.' source: Vatican Information Service