Reno Bishop Calvo gives Dominican nuns hope on women deacons

"Where is the Holy Spirit calling us?"

 

Bishop Randolph Calvo of Reno and Sister Gloria Marie Jones, OP. Photo by Michele Jurich

The following comes from an Apr. 17 story in the Catholic Voice, diocesan paper for Oakland.

Almost a year ago, in answering questions asked of him by the International Union of Religious Superiors, Pope Francis said, “I accept. It would be useful for the Church to clarify this question. I agree,” when asked if he would establish an official commission to study the question of whether women could be admitted to the diaconate.

The pope’s “I agree” and his subsequent appointment of seven men and six women to study the issue laid the foundation for the April 8 presentation, “Women Deacons? A Dialogue,” at the Fremont motherhouse of the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose.

Most Rev. Randolph Calvo, bishop of Reno, and Dominican Sisters Mary Peter Traviss and Gloria Marie Jones, made their presentations to a group of 80 religious and laywomen — and a few men — for a lively panel, followed by thoughtful questions.

Bishop Calvo’s talk centered on “Women Deacons: What the Past Can Mean for Today.” His experience on the topic spans more than 20 years, he told the gathering.

While serving as president of the Canon Law Society of America in November 1995, he sent a copy of an ad-hoc committee’s “Canonical implications of ordaining women to the permanent diaconate” to then-Cardinal Josef Ratzinger.

His presentation drew upon the work of historians and scriptural scholars, who point to the presence of women deacons and deaconesses in the early church.

Beyond looking at history, Bishop Calvo encouraged looking at the possibilities.

“What we’re doing here today,” he said, in raising the question of women deacons, is asking, “Where is the Holy Spirit calling us on this particular question at this particular time?”

Sister Gloria Marie, who until last fall served as prioress of the order, was in the Pope Paul VI audience hall among the 900 religious superiors when Pope Francis said he would appoint the commission.

The question of women deacons is, said Sister Gloria Marie, “more significant than giving women more power or status, as some people may think….”

 

 

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  1. Disgusted with California Bishops says:

    Do I have to be disgusted with Nevada bishops too? How about just disgusted with bishops in general.

    Lord, save the Church from evil and incompetent bishops, of which there are unfortunately many.

    Lord, save your people.

    There will never be female deacons because women cannot receive Holy Orders. It has been firmly established that the service and function of deaconesses in the early church was not an ordained ministry and was not a participation in the sacerdotal priesthood, as the deaconate is now.

    The Holy Spirit is not leading the Church to female deacons, Your Un-Excellency!

    • The diaconate is not, and never has been, “a participation in the sacerdotal priesthood”—-although it is correct to say that diaconal ordination is a participation in Holy Orders. How is this? Because deacons are ordained for service, but only priests are ordained to offer sacramental sacrifice.

    • Yes “Disgusted”,
      It seems “..our bishops see their role as champions of mediocrity , when defence of the Faith is what’s called for.”
      How do such men even become bishops?
      Example:
      A bishops secretary in Ireland, when I brought to his attention ( among other abuses ) that two of the diocese churches had no
      tabernacle light burning, responded.
      ” Michael try not to concern yourself with
      such things.”
      He was just recently made a bishop.

  2. Deacon Craig Anderson says:

    Deaconesses in the early Church were not deacons. The history about that is pretty clear. They were “ordained” differently and functioned differently. Deaconesses were not part of the three-fold ministry of those in (major) Holy Order: bishops, priests and deacons. A study of this has already been done. I wonder if the Pope consulted Cardinal Gerhard Muller, the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Cardinal Muller wrote a book on it, “Priesthood and Diaconate.” It’s published by Ignatius Press and I recommend it for those who would like to study this issue further. Also, let’s be honest and ask those promoting women deacons about their opinion on women priests and bishops. I think some may have a hidden…

  3. The Memory says:

    Women should be content on being Sisters, or Nuns.
    Will they next be applying to be elevated to “Angels”?
    Next it will Priests, Bishops, Cardinals, then Pope?
    Not to Serve the Church of Jesus, but to be Served?

  4. Like my wise, 3rd Order Carmelite wife said, “I wouldn’t have a problem with women’s ordination if it weren’t for the women who want to be ordained.” The women who do possess the heart and intellect for ordination want no part of it.

    • AMEN! The thing with women ordination is, the women who want it, do not exhibit humility. Its all about pride. Our Holy Mother Mary, was not a Priest. What did she do? She did as we, all women, should. That being to encourage our sons. “They have no wine” Support our sons. “Do everything He tells you”.

  5. Yes…individuals not satisfied with the level of influence they possess and intent on the acquisition of more. Just the kind of folks I want more of in the ordained clergy.

  6. Studies are sometimes like reverse engineering.
    As part of any study of Women Deacons, I suggest the study consider this. My understanding is that Church Latin and Greek are very rich, precise languages. If there was a fundamental difference between male and female Deacons in the ancient Church, why not use a different word for the females? I think this would have clarified that there was a difference [not necessarily the nature of that difference].
    The suffix ‘ess’ in American English simply clarifies that the person is female. I do not believe it implies any further difference in the person to whom it refers.

  7. TheVeiledThreat says:

    “Where is the Holy Spirit calling us on this particular question at this particular time?”

    Please define “us”…

  8. Re: Tony Bueno above—
    Pls don’t use our Savior’s name that way.

  9. There any number of ways that women can be of service in the Church. My mother-in-law was a Third Order Carmelite and my cousin a Dominican Nun. I can only conclude that the fixation of the title of “deaconess” has an ulterior motive. It appears that the proponents are in for frustration and disappointment when they see that their goals simply can not be reached.

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