The following comes from an August 2 Catholic News Agency article by Ann Schnieble:

Pope Francis has instituted a new commission for the study of women deacons, the Vatican announced Tuesday.

Pope Francis further told journalists during the June 26 press briefing there was no change in the works to allow for the ordination of women to the diaconate.


The following comes from an August 2 LifeSiteNews article by Claire Chretien:

An American professor appointed to Pope Francis’ newly announced Special Commission for the Study of the Diaconate of Women subtly advocates for women’s ordination to the priesthood, and several other appointees have expressed questionable theological views.

One of the 12 commission appointees is left-leaning Hofstra University professor Phyllis Zagano, a well-known advocate for women’s ordination to the diaconate. She has spoken at events sponsored by organizations that promote women’s ordination to the priesthood.

Many scholars point to women in the early Church as non-ordained deaconesses, but some argue that they were actually ordained in this role. Zagano is one of the most prominent holders of this position, which opens a wide door to arguments for women’s ordination to the priesthood.

“There is overwhelming historical evidence that women were ordained deacons by bishops intending to perform a sacrament. If women were sacramentally ordained deacons and the diaconate shares in the sacerdotal priesthood … then women have already shared in the sacerdotal priesthood,” Zagano wrote for America magazine in 2013.

In September 2015, just days before Pope Francis’ visit to the United States, Zagano spoke at a Women’s Ordination Worldwide (WOW) conference in Philadelphia. WOW dissents from Church teaching that women cannot be ordained as priests. It also embraces and promotes the LGBT cause.

In May, Zagano spoke at a teleconference sponsored by FutureChurch, a group that rejects the Catholic Church’s teaching that Jesus ordained his disciples at the Last Supper. FutureChurch advocates for women priests.

Zagano’s appointment to the Vatican commission “can’t be necessarily viewed as an honorary post,” Michael Hichborn, the president of the Lepanto Institute, told LifeSiteNews. “Every debate requires someone to take the pro position and someone to take the con position. If Professor Zagano was appointed to act as a devil’s advocate, I can’t think of a better person to fill the role, provided that a competent individual with equal zeal for defense of orthodoxy were appointed opposite her.”

“The greater question truly is ‘why is this up for discussion?’” he continued. “St. Paul, speaking with the Holy Spirit, fully condemned an ordained female deaconate in both his letter to Timothy and his letter to the Corinthians. Specifically, St. Paul says, ‘I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man. She must be quiet.’ Ordained deacons read the Gospels in Mass, give sermons, and officiate weddings, funerals, and baptisms. If a female were permitted to be ordained as a deaconess, she would then have the authority to teach in Mass (as in a sermon), and she would have authority over men to confer three of the seven sacraments. All of this was condemned by St. Paul.”