Holy Saviour Parish Glen Waverley North

Address: 765 Highbury Road, Vermont South, VIC 3133 
Phone: 03 9401 6340
Email: glenwaverleynorth@cam.org.au
Events & News

Fr James on women deacons, Facebook and spirituality Published: 19 May

What do you think about the news about women deacons?

It was pretty clear that [Pope Francis] wanted the discussion reopened. I think having women deacons is really a recovery of a historical reality and it's also something that points towards the future in terms of enabling women to have more participation in the liturgical life of the Church and therefore more participation in leadership.

Because preaching is a form of leadership and celebrating the sacraments is a form of leadership. I think it's fantastic.

How do you respond to the resistance to this discussion of women deacons?

There are probably a number of reasons for the resistance. One is theological resistance - people think it's not justified theologically and that it's too close to priestly ordination. Second, I think it's fear of change. It's something new and different and people tend to fear change. Third, I think unfortunately there's some misogyny.

The first time I heard a woman give a reflection at a retreat it was on the Annunciation and I remember thinking how impoverished the Church is for not being able to hear women's perspectives on the Scripture. Not only about women's issues and women in the Bible, but everything. It really struck me and I've never forgotten that.

Being too close to priestly ordination, would they have to change the ordination procedure?

The irony is that when Phoebe was a deacon she wasn't ordained a deacon in the way that deacons are ordained today, but priests weren't ordained priests the way they are ordained today. So, I find the arguments against ordaining women to the diaconate not compelling. The arguments for are very compelling, including historical arguments.

If it was totally off the table, the Pope would say that. He didn't say that. He said we needed to study it more.

You have over 400,000 likes on your public Facebook page. What are people looking to you for?

Because I work at America Media, we're kind of a clearinghouse for news and video and stories that people might not normally see, so we're fortunate to get them first. It's great to be able to share those things with people.

Second, I think people appreciate Ignatian spirituality. I try to be honest about my own struggles and things that I like and don't like.


Fr Jim Martin meets people where they are - online

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