Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Archbishop Müller: No Foundation or Need for Deaconesses

(Osnabrück) Curial Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, the Prefect of the Congregation of Faith, issued a clear rejection for a demand by progressive Catholic circles for a women's diaconate. "The sacrament of Holy Orders in the stages bishop, priest, deacon can only be validly received by a man according to Catholic doctrine," Müller told the Catholic news agency KNA in an interview for the German church newspapers.

Recently, demands had been raised, which was not always clear whether deacons and thus women, were called to the ordained ministry, or deaconesses, and there was a special office as such in the early church, but that was not associated with a consecration. Archbishop Müller sees no basis for an office of sacramental ordination after the model of the early church deaconess.

Deaconesses, says Müller, were apparent in the old church at times and in different regions. But these did "not receive the sacrament in the strict sense." They were introduced out of reasons of necessity and played an important role, "because priests were not allowed to attend women at home or in hospital wards." However, these tasks are no longer necessary, because the reasons for it were withdrawn.

In February, Cardinal Walter Kasper had proposed the consideration of a "community-deacon." The remarks sparked criticism because the word deacon, or deaconess place a subliminally intended ordained ministry. "It may prove to be that there is a specific office in the Church today, but not a sacramental office of Women for Women's needs," said the now Prefect of the Congregation.

Archbishop Müller also reiterated the statement of Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Archbishop of Munich, and also spoke out against the Catholic Church's retreat from the hospital system: "The retreat mentality is contrary to the nature of the Church as a missionary [militant?] Church." Caritas, says Müller, as Prefect, is a constitutive characteristic feature of the Church.

As before, Cardinal Marx and Curial Archbishop Müller contradicted, without naming them, the Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes and Cologne psychiatrist and theologian Manfred Lütz, who just appeared in a jointly written book, demanding the transformation of Catholic hospitals, because too many people work at Catholic hospitals who were not Catholic and would not identify with the Church. This creates problems of "employer authority."

Growing up in a secular environment, people can not simply be blamed if they might not be at Mass every Sunday, said Müller. "We want to convince rather by example," said the Prefect of the Congregation.

Text: Giuseppe Nardi
 Image: Chiesa e Postconcilio\

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1 comment:

Deacon Ed said...

The work of Catholic hospitals is a ministry of the Church which means that it is a ministry of those who are members of the Church. It should be done by Catholics but not just FOR Catholics but for everyone. It is a way of witnessing to the Gospel by those who are followers of the Gospel which is to say Catholics. If the "work" can be done by anyone, it is no longer an expression of a ministry of the Church and is a secular activity. It does NOT mean that the secular is not good and valued but it DOES mean that it is not a Christian work of charity as an expression of the Gospel which is to say Jesus Christ. If there is no distinction between that which is done by the Church and in the name of the Church, close up shop and just get a job working for some government operated health facility.