Vatican announces major step in examining role of diaconate of women in the early Church
VATICAN CITY — The Vatican announced today that Pope Francis will institute a commission to study the diaconate of women.
“After intense prayer and mature reflection,” Vatican Radio reported, the Pope has appointed as president of the Commission, Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer. A Spanish Jesuit, Archbishop Ladaria is currently Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
In May, during a meeting with the participants in the Plenary Assembly of Superiors General, Pope Francis expressed his intention to “establish an official commission that could study the question” of the diaconate of women, “especially with regard to the first ages of the Church.”
Cardinal Gerhard Müller, Prefect of the CDF, said in June that he thought little new would come from such a study.
He said the focus would be historic in nature, and would study the role of women deacons in the early Church, adding that an exhaustive study was completed in 2002.
That study found that female deacons of the early Church cannot be compared to the ordained male diaconate of today.
In addition to Archbishop Ladaria, Pope Francis has appointed six women and six men from academic institutions around the world.
Here below, please find a complete list of the members of the Commission for the Study of the Diaconate of Women:
Abp. Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, S.J., Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Sr. Nuria Calduch‑Benages, M.H.S.F.N., member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission;
Prof. Francesca Cocchini, of the “La Sapienza” University, and of the Patristic Institute “Augustinianum,” Rome;
Msgr. Piero Coda, President of the University Institute “Sophia,” Loppiano, and member of the International Theological Commission;
Fr Robert Dodaro, O.S.A., President of the Patristic Institute “Augustinianum,” Rome and professor of patrology;
Fr Santiago Madrigal Terrazas, S.J., professor of ecclesiology at the Pontifical University “Comillas,” Madrid;
Sr Mary Melone, S.F.A., Rector of the Pontifical University “Anonianum,” Rome;
Fr Karl‑Heinz Menke, professor emeritus of dogmatic theology at the University of Bonn and member of the International Theological Commission;
Fr Aimable Musoni, S.D.B., professor of ecclesiology at the Pontifical Salesian University, Rome;
Fr Bernard Pottier, S.J., professor at the “Institut d’Etudes Théologiques,” Brussels, and member of the International Theological Commission;
Prof. Marianne Schlosser, professor of spiritual theology at the University of Vienana, and member of the International Theological Commission;
Prof. Michelina Tenace, professor of fundamental theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome;
Prof. Phyllis Zagano, professor at Hofstra University, Hempstead, New York.
Diane Montagna is Rome correspondent for Aleteia’s English edition.