Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher of Gatineau, Quebec, said the Synod of Bishops on the family should reflect on the possibility of allowing female deacons as it seeks ways to open up more opportunities for women in church life. Where possible, qualified women should be given higher positions and decision-making authority within church structures and new opportunities in ministry, he said on Oct. 6. “I think we should really start looking seriously at the possibility of ordaining women deacons because the diaconate in the church’s tradition has been defined as not being ordered toward priesthood but toward ministry.” Archbishop Durocher also told synod participants that the World Health Organization estimates that 30 percent of women worldwide experience violence by their partner. In the apostolic exhortation “Familiaris Consortio” in 1981, he said, St. John Paul II told the church that it had to make a clear effort to end “degradation of women in our world, particularly in marriage.” To address this problem the synod could clearly state “that you cannot justify the domination of men over women—certainly not violence—through biblical interpretation.”
Will Bishops Consider Women Deacons?