German bishops' head to promote a ‘diaconate for women'
THE TABLET2 May 2013
The president of Germany's bishops' conference has called for the creation of a new, specific office for women deacons.
Archbishop Robert Zollitsch told delegates at a four-day conference in his Freiburg archdiocese on church reform: "I will promote further in-depth study of the common priesthood of all the faithful, encourage diversity as far as church ministries and offices are concerned and I will do so based on the Church's teaching. This will include promoting new church ministries and offices which will be open to women as, for example, a specific deacon's office for women."
But a spokesman for Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich, whom Pope Francis has appointed cardinal-adviser for Europe, said ordaining women deacons was "not on the agenda".
And Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer of Regensburg said the office of deacon was inseparably bound to that of priest and bishop and the sacrament of ordination, and the "tradition that only men can be ordained is based on the Bible".