Holy Saturday: The Argument for the Reinstitution of the Female Diaconate in the Catholic Church

Phyllis Zagano, Author Herder & Herder $24.95 (182p) ISBN 978-0-8245-1832-5
This is not a book for everyone. On its own specialized, scholarly terms and for its designated audience of Roman Catholics, however, it succeeds admirably. Zagano, founding cochair of the Roman Catholic Studies Group of the American Academy of Religion, holder of five academic degrees and author or editor of nine other books, summons her considerable expertise to support the case for women's ordination to the diaconate of the Roman Catholic Church. She proposes that the Church should restore the female diaconate because the ordained ministry of service by women is necessary to meet the needs of the Church. Her method is that of clear and reasoned argument, with footnotes to extend the ramifications of important issues. First, she analyzes the ontological equality of men and women, then examines the diaconal service of women, including evidence from Scripture, history, tradition and theology. Zagano emphasizes that she is not advocating ordaining women to the priesthood and does not see ordaining women to the diaconate as a first step to priesthood ordination. Therefore, she states that her call for change in the Church does not ""counter the Magisterium."" Instead, Zagano ably examines a way for women to serve the Church in union with Church authority. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/03/2000
Release date: 04/01/2000
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