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Could the Church have female cardinals? #418920
02/26/19 01:40 AM
02/26/19 01:40 AM
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Andy Makar Offline OP
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Pope Francis has spoken about involving women at high level positions within the Church. This doesn't sound radical in that there is no theological reason that many positions must be run by ordained clergy. But could a women be made a cardinal?

As I see it, the position is not one that demands ordination. There have been lay cardinals. If a man could be a lay cardinal, then why not a woman? Or why not a nun? You could still bar them from election to the papacy as that position would require ordination as a priest. But as I see it, cardinal is simply an organizational rank.

What do you think?

Re: Could the Church have female cardinals? [Re: Andy Makar] #418921
02/26/19 02:22 AM
02/26/19 02:22 AM
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Andy Makar:

Christ is in our midst!!

Welcome to the forum.

The rank of cardinal has been restricted to clergy since the new Code was put into effect--may have been earlier. Usually it is given to a bishop, though priests with outstanding service to the Church have been awarded this rank. These latter, however, are usually nominated when they are ineligible to be elected to the papacy--over 80. It is assumed that cardinals will enter the conclave for papal election. In fact, the real purpose of the rank is simply papal election.

Bob
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Re: Could the Church have female cardinals? [Re: theophan] #418922
02/26/19 02:55 AM
02/26/19 02:55 AM
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Andy Makar Offline OP
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Just because that has been the practice, it doesn't mean its in stone. I think it's in the category of of a discipline. Just like a celibate priesthood. I really don't see an ecclesiastical mandate to use rank in the current manner. Mostly because there really no ecclesiastical mandate for the position at all. They DID manage to pick popes before they had cardinals.

Re: Could the Church have female cardinals? [Re: Andy Makar] #418924
02/26/19 02:19 PM
02/26/19 02:19 PM
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Christ is in our midst!!

I think you ought to look at your question through the lens of the teaching Pope St John Paul II did in 1994, barring women from the clergy going forward. If a woman cannot be a member of the clergy, how could she be part of the group to elect the Pope? Actually all of the members of the College of Cardinals who enter the Conclave must be themselves eligible for the office for which they are voting.

Earlier, the Pope, as Bishop of Rome, was elected by the clergy of the diocese of Rome. But the clergy contained no women.

Re: Could the Church have female cardinals? [Re: Andy Makar] #418995
03/16/19 07:10 AM
03/16/19 07:10 AM
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As mere philosophical speculation I think it is possible, but given the legal order is unlikely. Pope Francis seems to have repudiated the idea recently when he said that female empowerment in the Church is machismo of skirts.

Re: Could the Church have female cardinals? [Re: Andy Makar] #419015
03/18/19 12:56 AM
03/18/19 12:56 AM
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How could a person be a cardinal when the current rules for being made a cardinal require one being a bishop, which means that one has become a priest on the way? And then we go back to Pope St John Paul's definitive teaching in 1994.

Re: Could the Church have female cardinals? [Re: theophan] #419024
03/18/19 07:48 PM
03/18/19 07:48 PM
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Do not know of the current rules, but I do have the memory that Fr. Avery Dulles, of blessed memory, was made a Cardinal and never consecrated a bishop, and the great French Catholic philosopher, Jacques Maritain, a married layman, was offered the cardinalate by Pope Pius XII, but declined it. So there is precedent for such.

Last edited by Utroque; 03/18/19 08:47 PM. Reason: spell correction
Re: Could the Church have female cardinals? [Re: Andy Makar] #419040
03/19/19 12:04 PM
03/19/19 12:04 PM
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I'm not sure about Cardinal Dulles and his status, but the red hat has been given to men of great service to the Church. Usually, though, they are too old to vote in Conclave. The change in rules since Pope Paul VI--and I am not sure if he did the change or it was done by one of his successors--has ruled out laymen.

Re: Could the Church have female cardinals? [Re: Andy Makar] #419127
03/29/19 07:13 PM
03/29/19 07:13 PM
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As the moderator said, "the rank of cardinal has been restricted to clergy--major orders--since the new--1917--Code was put into effect." Additionally, the 1983 code adds that all should be bishops, though dispensation of this rule have been granted, mainly to Jesuits due to their specific vows, i.e. Dulles.

However, originally, the title of Cardinal was an honorific title granted by the Church, independent of holy orders. They were counselors of the Bishop of Rome. Although there had being "lay" cardinals in the past, the only ones we know of recent times had all being tonsured, making them clerics, though absent of major orders. With the elimination of minor orders from the Latin Church by St. Paul VI, this is is no longer a possibility.

In as much as the government of the Roman Curia is trusted to the Cardinals, and voting for the Pope was a later development, if a future pope separates once again the rank of Cardinal from Holy orders, it could be possible once again for a lay person to be created cardinal in order to help in the government of the Roman Curia; and if lay, why not a lay woman?

Moreover, even with the current debate about whether women deacon were minor or major orders, they were clerics. Since women are excluded from priesthood (that is, to be a Presbyter or, in consequence, a Bishop), yet they were (and perhaps could be once again in the future) allowed to be deacon, the idea of a woman cardinal is not as farfetched as some could think, whether it be as a lay woman or a cleric woman deacon.

Re: Could the Church have female cardinals? [Re: Andy Makar] #419128
03/29/19 08:45 PM
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Coqui:

Christ is in our midst!!

Welcome to the forum.

Bob
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Re: Could the Church have female cardinals? [Re: Andy Makar] #419130
03/31/19 11:31 PM
03/31/19 11:31 PM
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I think the answer your looking for is "Yes". However, the answer is very hypothetical and realistically never happen.

Re: Could the Church have female cardinals? [Re: Coquí] #419149
04/05/19 01:46 AM
04/05/19 01:46 AM
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Deaconesses come up here fairly regularly.

Not only *were* there clearly deaconesses, but they exist in at least one EC and EO church to this day.


However, the next post with evidence that a Deaconess was/isa female deacon will be the first . . . the closest we have seen so far is that one church laid hands on deaconesses at their installations.

hawk

Last edited by dochawk; 04/05/19 01:53 AM.
Re: Could the Church have female cardinals? [Re: dochawk] #419164
04/08/19 08:47 PM
04/08/19 08:47 PM
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Coquí Offline
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Although this is not the topic of this thread, I'll say this.

The Greek word "Diakonissa" has had three uses in the past:
- Wife of the Deacon (usage that remains today);
- Woman that assisted at some functions, whether with or without imposition of hands, that were not considered clergy;
- Female Deacon, which was considered clergy and that necessarily had the imposition of hands (some even had liturgical roles and received Communion at the altar).

As to the last, there is plenty written, and much written recently due to Pope Francis' commission to study their historical role in the Church. An ancient source that comes to mind is the "Barberini Codex," an 8th-9th Century Euchologion that included all the ordination rites, from minor orders to major orders, in ascending order of rank. Interestingly enough, following the ancient practice of placing the male before the female, the rite for the ordination of the female deacon appears right AFTER the rite for male deacon. This has been understood as implying that at some point, they had the same rank. However, historical interpretations are varied.

Today, the exclusion of women from priesthood, whether it be the Order of Presbyters or, hence, the Order of Bishops, does not affect the lower ranking Order of Deacons.

This could be discussed in another thread if it were necessary.

Re: Could the Church have female cardinals? [Re: Coquí] #419165
04/09/19 07:45 PM
04/09/19 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Coquí
Interestingly enough, following the ancient practice of placing the male before the female, the rite for the ordination of the female deacon appears right AFTER the rite for male deacon. This has been understood as implying that at some point, they had the same rank.
Not clear about this difference: "male before the female" but "female deacon appears right AFTER the rite for male"?

Is there a good link for the Greek transcription? I found one that was not well organized. It conclude: "Moreover, male deacons were ordained with substantially the same rite [as women]." I actually found more differences than I had anticipated especially given that the site was advocating for women deacons and priests.

One thing that stood out that I would want to check in a good presentation of the texts is the use of the word in translation "promoted" (from the subdiaconate) in the male rite version only. Along with that, as it stands now, further "promotion" is possible for (male) deacons but not for those so-ordained as deaconesses. Would that in itself constitute a real and substantial difference in the character of the ordination: further promotion is possible for deacons but not deaconesses?

Re: Could the Church have female cardinals? [Re: ajk] #419173
04/13/19 01:41 AM
04/13/19 01:41 AM
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I have enjoyed reading the responses. I suspected that my question might be viewed as a bit nuts. But the responses indicate that it was not as nuts as I thought. I think that the Church needs the female input in leadership. The bishops are pretty smart guys. (I'm sure there is a few exceptions). Yet they just keep stepping on the rake on a number of issues. The biggest area is the issue of clergy sex abuse that they simply don't seem to know how to get ahead of. So, maybe the women can straighten them out. And in a hierarchal organization you would need to give them some sort of positional authority. That's what motivated the speculation.

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