Women Deacons – Overview

Overview of documents
on women deacons / deaconesses

From at least the 3rd to the 9th centuries women were sacramentally ordained as deacons in the Catholic Church!
This proves that they are capable of receiving Holy Orders.

Main Topics
Supporting Documents
General Introduction to Women Deacons
Book by John Wijngaards:
The Ancient Women Deacons
Canterbury Press & Continuum.
1. The Sacramental Ordination of Women Deacons

Differences discussed
Opponents answered

original Greek from manuscripts

dramatizations of the ancient ordination rite

the historical records of women deacons

Texts of ordination rites from:

2. The Tasks of Women Deacons
3. Church Councils on Women Deacons ‘Women Deacons in the Orthodox Church’
4. History of Women Deacons
* Women as Deacons
by John Wijngaards The Tablet 15 Feb. 2003
* ‘Women were Deacons’
by John Wijngaards The Tablet 8 May 1999
* ‘The diaconate – a ministry for women in the Church’, by Ida Raming, Orientierung 62 (1998) pp. 8-11
* Women Deacons: Goodwill Gestures, The Catholic Herald, August 19, 1990, page 5; by Moya Frenz St Leger
* Report of an Ad Hoc Committee of the Canon Law Society of America, 1995,
*Letters to the Editor of The Tablet
*‘A Call I Cannot Answer’, The Tablet (29 June 1991), by Moya Frenz St Leger
*Debate in the Irish Times, 2001

Related Documents

An analysis of this ordination rite shows that the ordination of the woman deacon is the same as that for the male deacon, and undoubtedly sacramental.

See also our mirror site for women deacons

Wijngaards Institute for Catholic ResearchThis website is maintained by the Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research.

The Institute is known for issuing academic reports and statements on relevant issues in the Church. These have included scholars’ declarations on the need of collegiality in the exercise of church authority, on the ethics of using contraceptives in marriage and the urgency of re-instating the sacramental diaconate of women.

Visit also our websites:Women Deacons, The Body is Sacred and Mystery and Beyond.

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