by ROWENA OREJANA
AUCKLAND — If we can’t ordain women priests, why not women deacons?
This was one of the ideas raised at the Catholic Women’s League national conference on July
18 in Auckland.
The CWL is trying to raise awareness among its members of the importance of women taking
their rightful place in the Church.
“That’s the sort of feeling of the whole meeting,” said outgoing president Anne Joyce.
Participants were reflecting on what Pope Francis had said about the need to develop a
more profound theology of women.
One of the groups then raised the issue.
CWL national chaplain Sr John Bosco Kendall, RSJ, challenged the group to ask their bishops about the possibility. “Why don’t you ask them to take that suggestion to Rome?” she said.
Sr John Bosco said the issue of women deacons is one that is also being raised elsewhere in the
“It’s an issue that is being raised widely. What Pope Francis is saying is we need to develop a real theology of women. That we need to look at more clearly defined roles for women in the Church.
“Incisive is the word he used, so by incisive he means the roles that actually have some influence attached to them,” she said.
One of the problems in tackling such an issue in this conference, however, said Sr John Bosco,
is that there was no time for a deeper reflection.
Mrs Joyce said those thoughts would be collated and sent back to members.
The hope is that members would think more about the ideas and consider all possibilities,
They also hope CWL members will think more about it and consider all possibilities, she said.
And they hope members will be proactive and more vocal in promoting the issues taken up at the
Sr John Bosco said women realise their importance to the Church.
“[Women] as baptised members of the Church, they are equal to everybody else.
“All baptised, whether they are clergy or laity, male of female are, in actual fact, equal,” said Sr John Bosco.
The conference ran from July 16 to 19.