June 19, 2021

Pope Francis speaks to deacons and their families about the vocation of deacons

In an address to deacons and their families in Rome on June 19, Pope Francis’ first point of emphasis was the distinction of the diaconate from the priesthood — that deacons are ordained “not unto the priesthood, but unto a ministry of service.”

“This difference is not insignificant,” he said. “The mere fact of emphasizing this difference helps to overcome the scourge of clericalism.”

Pope Francis then said the diaconate “leads us to the center of the mystery of the Church.” Just as the Church must be missionary and synodal, he said, it must also be diaconal.

“Deacons remind the Church that what Saint Theresa discovered is true: the Church has a heart enflamed by love. Yes, a humble heart throbbing with service. Deacons remind us of this when, like the deacon Saint Francis, they bring God’s closeness to others without imposing themselves, serving with humility and joy.”

Read the pope’s full address here.

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Witness
Women need to share their spiritual gifts with others as deacons, serving those who are currently unserved, reaching towards the fullness of the expression of our faith.
Jill Caldwell
Parish and diocesan volunteer in Helena, Montana
Endorser
Many women I know are competent Catholic ministers, discern a call, and deserve to be empowered by our institution and fully recognized in our communities. It would dignify our Church to recognize this reality.
Deacon Dennis T. Duffell
Regional Coordinator of Pax Christi Northwest in Seattle, Washington
Witness
“I dream of a Church that receives and empowers the gifts that the Holy Spirit has given to each member. Ordaining women to the diaconate is one important way to recognize and strengthen the diaconal ministry that is already exercised by Catholic women everywhere.”
Luke Hansen
Campus minister and teacher, San Francisco, California

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