, 22 tweets, 28 min read
"We have a liturgical rite for the ordination of women deacons that is 400 years older than the earliest liturgical rite for marriage," says @GDemacopoulos at @CRCfordham panel on women deacons. "Let that sink in."
@GDemacopoulos @CRCfordham "There is absolutely no doubt that there was a female diaconate in the early Church," says @GDemacopoulos

He wants to get that out there. "Anyone who says anything differently should not be taken seriously."
@GDemacopoulos @CRCfordham "The Holy Father knows that the biggest exit ramp for Catholics is not in the US, it's in South America," says @PhyllisZagano at @FordhamNYC panel on women deacons. Cardinal Hummes told her before the synod: "Phyllis, ALL ministries will be discussed" at the Amazon Synod.
@GDemacopoulos @CRCfordham @PhyllisZagano @FordhamNYC "Women deacons died out in the West because of the cursus honorum, the 'course of honor'" that set the series of offices leading to priesthood. That subsumed the diaconate--and thus excluded women. Gregory was a deacon who was elected Pope. He insisted on being ordained.
@GDemacopoulos @CRCfordham @PhyllisZagano @FordhamNYC @GDemacopoulos notes that Catholics "are completely enamored of the Orthodox synodal model -- which is completely dysfunctional." And Orthodox shun idea of central papal authority "though we desperately need one!"
@GDemacopoulos @CRCfordham @PhyllisZagano @FordhamNYC "For the conservative leaning (women deacons) just tip of iceberg for capitulation to modernism, feminism" etc etc. "So despite historical record [women deacons] becomes a proxy for all kinds of anxieties." That's @GDemacopoulos on @CRCfordham panel.
@GDemacopoulos @CRCfordham @PhyllisZagano @FordhamNYC Says @DrClarkM1 :"Reality is that is it the women in the Amazon who are ensuring the continuity of the faith community. That's not debatable. They are hearing confessions, baptizing, presiding at funerals....Bishops from Amazon are not complaining about 'these uppity women.'"
@GDemacopoulos @CRCfordham @PhyllisZagano @FordhamNYC @DrClarkM1 "Whatever women deacons did historically, it is not much different from what women are doing in Amazon today," says @DrClarkM1 . But the rightwing went crazy "but I didn't see them offer any alternatives."
@GDemacopoulos @CRCfordham @PhyllisZagano @FordhamNYC @DrClarkM1 @DrClarkM1 says she's going to take a swipe at Aquinas, whose she appreciates deeply for his theology and social teaching example. "But he didn't know what the hell to do with the fact that women were a thing." His "Aristotelian theology said we were just hosts for sperm."
@GDemacopoulos @CRCfordham @PhyllisZagano @FordhamNYC @DrClarkM1 "If he had some good biology" Aquinas "might have saved us a lot of pain, and bad theology," says @DrClarkM1 on @FordhamNYC panel on women deacons.
@GDemacopoulos @CRCfordham @PhyllisZagano @FordhamNYC @DrClarkM1 Clark says JP2's 'Theology of the Body' has enshrinedthe active-passive biology of complemtarity.

Adds @PhyllisZagano : "Peter Damian called women "the appetizing flesh of the Devil.' And it went downhill from there."
@GDemacopoulos @CRCfordham @PhyllisZagano @FordhamNYC @DrClarkM1 "The synod has recognized that 2/3 of the Catholic communities in Amazon are run by women," says @PhyllisZagano "It's the needs of the church. The Church will not be denied what She needs." But synod "has suffered the ire of many people--that's good because we are discerning."
@GDemacopoulos @CRCfordham @PhyllisZagano @FordhamNYC @DrClarkM1 Q: Do I think we are going to see a female diaconate soon? @DrClarkM1 says yes,' notes there were no altar girls when she was a girl (which was not so long ago)... "But do I think it will be in the US? I'm not so sure."
@GDemacopoulos @CRCfordham @PhyllisZagano @FordhamNYC @DrClarkM1 @PhyllisZagano says once in Rome a retired South African cardinal said, "'Don't push your American ideas on me'" about women deacons. She said, "I'm not pushing anything on you. Each episcopal conference will decide for itself."
@GDemacopoulos @CRCfordham @PhyllisZagano @FordhamNYC @DrClarkM1 Zagano notes that it will be different in different places. She spoke to bishops from Laos & Cambodia who noted they don't have educational resources for male deacons. In US there are women and resources, but perhaps little USCCB cooperation because it's still so conservative.
@GDemacopoulos @CRCfordham @PhyllisZagano @FordhamNYC @DrClarkM1 "It has always been this way," @GDemacopoulos says about movement to women deacons. "Everything that has evolved in Christianity has always been organic." Change happens "it's because there already been a groundswell." A Pope or Patriarch just affirms what is already a reality.
@GDemacopoulos @CRCfordham @PhyllisZagano @FordhamNYC @DrClarkM1 Crystal ball question to wrap up @FordhamNYC women deacons panel: What do you see?

@GDemacopoulos "I do not foresee any scenario in Orthodox Church in which you would see ordained women priest." He does predict extension of women deacons in some of 14 autocephalous churches.
@GDemacopoulos @CRCfordham @PhyllisZagano @FordhamNYC @DrClarkM1 @DrClarkM1 does not think she will see women Catholic priests in her lifetime but that she will see women deacons. (She is, um, youthful.)

Her bigger issue: "We are in a crisis in the priesthood that is much bigger than women deacons."

Hierarchy, clericalism, power, and sex...
@GDemacopoulos @CRCfordham @PhyllisZagano @FordhamNYC @DrClarkM1 "We need to rethink the theology of the priesthood and the theology of the episcopacy," says @DrClarkM1
@GDemacopoulos @CRCfordham @PhyllisZagano @FordhamNYC @DrClarkM1 Says @PhyllisZagano : "Not going to see women priests." But over last 50 years have seen deacons tied more closely to the male priesthood so that "inextricable unicity of orders." But since women were ordained deacons this means they could be ordained ... priests.
@GDemacopoulos @CRCfordham @PhyllisZagano @FordhamNYC @DrClarkM1 (She's kidding but makes a point)

Zagano finishes telling story of bidding farewell to Pope Francis at Casa Santa Marta. "Pray for me," he told her, as he tells everyone. She said: "Holy Father, I pray for you--and for women deacons."
@GDemacopoulos @CRCfordham @PhyllisZagano @FordhamNYC @DrClarkM1 @PhyllisZagano said Francis roared with laughter, lifted up his hands as if holding the Scriptures, said loudly, "To proclaim the Gospel!"

It resounded in Casa Santa Marta. "I thought I was going to get arrested!" Zagano quipped, closing our @FordhamNYC and @CRCfordham panel.
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