Excellent article! Even the footnotes are worth reading. Maria McDowell nails the whole Persona Christi argument!


In the last few days, two friends and colleagues have asked what I think of the many reports that Pope Francis called for ‘the creation of a commission‘ to study ‘reinstating’ female deacons. Thanks to the Crusty Old Dean I do not need to point out (though I will remind) that declaring the usefulness of a study is hardly a commitment to anything; that recollecting a conversation with some unnamed former professor is hardly a particularly articulate reflection of the extensive historical work already done on the female diaconate1 ; and that on this, the Orthodox actually beat the Catholics to the punch.2

The truth is, though, that a well written call to expand the diaconate by a Catholic bishop, the continued practice of female deacons among the Armenians, or a call for its restoration among the Copts or both a call for and…

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