Theologian claims Vatican commission on female deacons found no evidence they existed

LifeSiteNews | 3/21/2019 | Staff
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March 21, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Professor Peter Hünermann – a well-connected and prominent German theologian – has told LifeSiteNews that, according to members of the German bishops' doctrinal commission who spoke to him, the report of the Vatican commission on female deacons found that “there is no historical evidence that in the patristics women were ordained as deacons.”

In a recent interview in Germany, Professor Hünermann spoke about this Vatican commission on the history of female deacons that had been established, in 2016, by Pope Francis. This commission has ended its work and gave Pope Francis, already in mid-2018, its report. Professor Hünermann commented on the fact that Pope Francis “has withheld the results for months now,” saying that this “is a sign for me that he does not agree with this statement as it stands.”

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When LifeSiteNews reached out to the German theologian, asking him for more information on this matter, he answered, saying that “Professor [Marianne] Schlosser of Vienna – a student of then-Professor Ratzinger [and a member of the Vatican female deacon commission] – informed the German doctrinal commission about the results of this study [of the commission]. This I learned from members of the doctrinal commission.” He further explained that the “result of the Roman commission” is: “there is no historical evidence that in the patristics women were ordained as deacons.”

As Professor Hünermann explained, this position had been earlier held by Cardinal Gerhard Müller – the former head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome – as well as by Professor Karl-Heinz Menke, who was a member of this 2016 Vatican commission on the female diaconate. As LifeSiteNews reported, Menke had said, in 2016: “A female diaconate has nowhere and never participated in the office transmitted by ordination.”

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Professor Hünermann also pointed...
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