Conclusions Regarding the Female Diaconate

All those interested in the papal commission on women and thWomen Deaconse diaconate will be interested in the Liturgical Press book, Women Deacons? Essays with Answers, edited by commission member Phyllis Zagano. Pray Tell is happy to print with permission the essay from this collection by Peter Hünnermann, “Conclusions Regarding the Female Diaconate.”

To spark your interest in this strong collection, here are the essays in the book:

  • The ‘Diaconate’ of Phoebe (Romans 16:1-2) According to Modern Exegesis” by Corrado Marucci
  • “Women Deacons in 1 Timothy: A Linguistic and Literary Look at ‘Women likewise…’ (1 Tim 3-11) ” by Jennifer H. Stiefel
  • “History and Value of the Feminine Diaconate in the Ancient Church” by Corrado Marucci
  • “The Diaconate and Other Liturgical Ministries of Women” by Pietro Sorci
  • “The Deaconess in the Byzantine Tradition” by Cipriano Vagaggini
  • “The Ordination of Deaconesses in the Greek and Byzantine Tradition” by Cipriano Vagaggini
  • “A View of the Past and Future of Feminine Ministries with the Church: Reflections about a Book by Roger Gryson” by Philippe Delhaye
  • “Were There Deaconesses in Egypt?” by Ugo Zanetti
  • “The Liturgical Function of Consecrated Women in the Byzantine Church” by Valerie A. Karras
  • “Remembering Tradition: Women’s Monastic Rituals and the Diaconate” by Phyllis Zagano
  • “Varieties of Ministries and Diaconal Renewal” by Yves Congar
  • Conclusions Regarding the Female Diaconate” by Peter Hünnermann (reprinted below)

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      1. @Anthony Ruff, OSB:

        Except Martimort’s study appears to post date the article by Peter Hünnermann published here by several years (Hünermann’s article is from 1975, and Martimort’s book was initially published in 1982 I believe).

        Martimort draws different conclusions to authors such as Phyllis Zagano, but essentially does so based on the same evidence as used by those represented in the Liturgical Press book here advertised. So it would be more accurate to characterise Martimort as providing a different scholarly view, rather than one which has been surpassed by other (sometimes older) publications.

      2. @Mariko Ralph:
        Zagano’s scholarly work post-dates Martimort’s. I suppose whether it “surpasses” or “provides a different view” depends on ones prior assumptions.

      3. @Anthony Ruff, OSB:

        I would think and hope it would depend on the assessment by scholars and ourselves of the merits of the differing scholarly contributions, rather than merely our own prior assumptions, which would rather preclude a constructive scholarly engagement and dialogue.

        However I am sure the Papal Commission, which includes quite a spread of prior assumptions based on what we know about of the participants, will constructively address this dynamic. Deacon Fritz Bauerschmidt own excellent post here at Praytell the other day in respect of Cipriano Vagaggini’s work, shows I think how this can be done, without our own prior agendas (either way) leading us astray.

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