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Cardinal Marx advocates women's diaconate: "I believe the time is right"

2022-07-02T16:22:07.529Z


The archbishop of Munich and Freising would like to open the ministry of the diaconate to women. He is convinced that this "can be a great gift for the church," says Reinhard Marx.


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Reinhard Marx during a procession to Corpus Christi

Photo: IMAGO/B.

Lindenthaler / IMAGO/Lindenthaler

Cardinal Reinhard Marx has spoken out in favor of the ordination of women as deacons in the Catholic Church.

"I believe that the time has come that it must and should be open to men and women," said the Archbishop of Munich and Freising in Munich's Liebfrauendom.

There he celebrated a service on the occasion of the 150th birthday of Ellen Ammann, a formative figure in the Catholic women's movement.

As early as 1917, Ammann asked Archbishop Michael Faulhaber to ordain a group of women as deacons.

"May the great Frau Ellen Ammann accompany us on this path," said Marx.

"A new approach" is needed.

The diaconate is "an office that is intended to make the connection between prayer and commitment for the poor visible in a special way, and I very much hope that we can find a way to make this office stand out even more".

There is still a lot of "theological and practical" work to be done, said Marx.

»I am convinced that this renewal can be a great gift for the Church.«

Pope has the role of women deacons investigated

The deacon office is one of the oldest in the Catholic Church.

Initially, deacons worked in the care of the poor and sick or as assistants to the bishop.

Beginning in the fifth century, ordination to the deacon became a stepping stone on the way to ordination to the priesthood.

The third stage is episcopal consecration.

Pope Francis has already appointed two commissions to examine the role of deacons or women in comparable offices in the early church.

Catholic organizations are calling for women to have access to the diaconate, and some also want women priests to be ordained.

Several bishops also support the demand for a women's deaconate.

Pope Francis repeatedly advocates greater participation by women, but has so far rejected ordained offices for women.

In the past year, more people left the Catholic Church in Germany than ever before.

359,338 Catholics turned their backs on their church in 2021 alone.

svs/dpa

Source: spiegel

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