FROM THE TABLET
“We are left wondering if in reality the permanent diaconate is being introduced by stealth,” said one parishioner.
Members of the laity have accused the Diocese of Killaloe of a “breach of trust” over the ministry of permanent deacons which remains on hold in the west of Ireland diocese.
Plans to train laymen for the ministry were paused in 2014 by the then Bishop of Killaloe, Kieran O’Reilly, following protests by a group known as the Women of Killaloe.
They argued that the role of the permanent deacon is unnecessary as most of its functions can be carried out by a layperson. They also believe that if it is introduced, it should be open to women and men, as it was in the early Church.
Bishop Fintan Monahan succeeded O’Reilly, now Archbishop of Cashel and Emly, in 2016.
However, despite the pause on recruiting permanent deacons in Killaloe, it subsequently emerged that one man from the diocese had already begun training for the diaconate before the reintroduction of the ministry was halted.
The Tablet has learned that a number of lay people in Killaloe are now concerned that this permanent deacon, who was ordained for the Diocese of Cloyne, is ministering publicly in Killaloe, including at liturgies in the cathedral in Ennis, undermining the agreement reached between the diocese and its people.
The offices of Deacon and Deaconess are as old as Christianity.
The three Holy Orders are deacon priest and bishop.
What is all this fuss about in Killaloe?
The previous bishop seems to have halted the ordination to the permanent diaconate as the result of protestations by Women of Killaloe?
Who are Women of Killaloe?
Are they a group of women seeking woman’s ordination?
How does stopping male permanent deacons help their cause?
I am in favour of women’s ordination.
I ordained a woman to the priesthood 24 years ago – Mother Frances.
Now in her 90s she is still on ministry
With the disappearance of priests the RCC needs more deacons.
Surely the Women of Killaloe should be campaigning for women’s ordination?
In 2016 Francis convened a study of the role of Deaconess.
It does not seem to have reported yet.
There will be women priests and deacons in the future – alongside married priests.
Maybe even eventually openly gay married priests.