Rome Sends Mixed Signals as Eastern Orthodox Begin Ordaining Deaconesses

— Experts on female deacons urge Catholic Church to revive the female diaconate in the West

The newly ordained deaconess Angelic Molen administering the chalice at the St. Nektarios Mission Parish near Harare.

By Jules Gomes

The Roman Catholic Church is postponing its debate on deaconesses even as the Eastern Orthodox Church ordained its first female deacon to serve in the liturgy, in anticipation of more women to be ordained to the diaconate.

In a historic event, Metropolitan Serafim Kykotis, archbishop of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and all of Africa, ordained Angelic Molen at the St. Nektarios Mission Parish near Harare, Zimbabwe, on Holy Thursday during the Orthodox Holy Week on May 2.

Eastern Orthodox Pope Authorizes Ordination

Molen’s ordination, authorized by His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, has triggered reactions ranging from hostile to affirming in the Eastern Orthodox churches — especially as her role, according to Serafim, “will include assisting priests in the liturgy and sacraments.”

“The Alexandrian Patriarchate in Africa felt the need to revive this order to serve the daily pastoral needs of Orthodox Christians in Africa,” states a press release from the St. Phoebe Center for the Deaconess, revealing that “this historic event would not be possible without the approval and support of the Alexandrian Synod and His Beatitude Theodoros.”

After unanimously voting to revive the female diaconate at its synod in Alexandria in 2016, the patriarchate ordained five sub-deaconesses in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2017.

“The ordination of Deaconess Angelic was the culmination of efforts around the world to renew the ancient order of deaconesses in the Orthodox Church, and specifically for the unique needs of parishes in Africa,” the statement added, explaining that Molen was ordained in the Byzantine rite.

Catalyst for Deaconesses in the Catholic Church?

Sources in Rome told The Stream that Molen’s ordination could spark debate on ordaining deaconesses in the Roman Catholic Church during the second phase of the October Synod of Bishops.

However, at a press conference on Tuesday the Vatican announced that the discussion on deaconesses “will not be the subject of the work of the Second Session” of the Synod.

The Instrumentum laboris (working document) released to the media stated that “the fruits of Study Group 5” (which dealt specifically with deaconesses), will “take into consideration the results of the two Commissions that have dealt with the question in the past.”

“While some local Churches call for women to be admitted to the diaconal ministry, others reiterate their opposition,” the document explained.

“The restoration of the tradition of ordaining women to the diaconate in the Greek Orthodox Church in Zimbabwe gives great support to those Roman Catholics who wish the tradition to continue in the West, where it has been largely abandoned for some 800 years,” Prof. Phyllis Zagano told The Stream.

Zagano holds a research position at Hofstra University, is regarded as a world authority on female deacons, and is author most recently of Just Church: Catholic Social Teaching, Synodality, and Women. In 2016, Pope Francis appointed her to serve on the Vatican commission to study female deacons.

“The question of restoring women to the ordained diaconate is before the Synod on Synodality, and one can only hope the process within Catholicism, and the Orthodox return to Tradition, will be respected,” she confirmed to the National Catholic Reporter.

“There is no Catholic doctrine against ordaining women as deacons,” Zagano told The Stream.

Orthodox Christians React with Support and Hostility

Molen’s ordination has triggered a heated debate within the Eastern Orthodox Churches between those who oppose women’s diaconate as a rupture with tradition and those who support it as a revival of an ancient practice that existed in the early days of the Church.

“The event caused many reactions, and gave rise to the free expression of various opinions and approaches,” Metropolitan Serafim wrote in a May 11 statement.

“The mission in Africa needs deaconesses, mainly for pastoral work and for the baptisms of adult women, as well as in special cases, such as widowhood, in stricter male-dominated environments, where for a long time the widowed woman is cut off from social and church life,” he explained.

Archdeacon Job Serebrov, an expert on the liturgies in the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches, told The Stream that it’s hard to predict whether other Greek Orthodox Churches will follow suit,

There appears to be stiff resistance on the part of the Slavic Orthodox Churches to do so,” he said. “The main concern that has been raised is that ordaining deaconesses will lead to female priests. This fear has arisen from the misplaced notion that the diaconate is only a stepping stone to the priesthood, which has only been reinforced in Eastern Orthodox seminaries and by current practice.

“Within the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Churches only the Armenian Orthodox Church has also ordained liturgically serving deaconesses. However, until 2017, when a lay woman was ordained, that office was reserved for nuns,” he added. “With proper education about the diaconate, ordination of deaconesses can be a great benefit to the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches, especially when viewed in its correct perspective as filling a church need instead of correcting an imbalance in gender equality.”

Pope Francis Sends Mixed Signals on Female Deacons

In April 2020, Pope Francis appointed a new commission tasked with investigating the possibility of ordaining female deacons. Among the 10 theologians on the commission are two permanent deacons, three priests, and five lay women — all holding professorships at theological faculties.

Seven of the commission members hold the Church’s traditional position on reserving sacramental ordination to the diaconate and priesthood exclusively for men.

One of the most prominent scholars on the commission who has categorically concluded that women cannot be ordained deacons is Fr. Manfred Hauke, professor of patristics and dogmatics at the Theological Faculty of Lugano, Switzerland.

“Allowing women to be deacons would create great confusion for the faithful,” Fr. Hauke maintains. “You would have to explain to people the difference between male and female deacons.”

Moreover, calling women “deacons” would be “ambiguous” since they would not receive the sacrament of Holy Orders, he said.

Dr. Rosalba Manes, professor of biblical theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University, argues in favor of Phoebe as “deacon of the church of Cenchrea,” explaining that the term diákonos suggests Phoebe’s ministry is not limited only to “the sphere of charity, but that it also includes preaching and evangelization.”

However, in a May 2024 CBS interview, Pope Francis ruled out ordaining female deacons. “But women have always had, I would say, the function of deaconesses without being deacons, right?” he said. “Women are of great service as women, not as ministers […] within the Holy Orders.”

Complete Article HERE!

Prominent ‘queer affirming’ theologian facing trial by Church of the Nazarene

— The Rev. Thomas Jay Oord is accused of teaching doctrines contrary to the Church of the Nazarene.

The Rev. Thomas Jay Oord

By Yonat Shimron

A prominent and prolific theologian in the Church of the Nazarene will face a church trial later this month for advocating for LGBTQ affirmation at a time when the denomination is doubling down on its opposition to same-sex relations.

The Rev. Thomas Jay Oord, an ordained elder and a lifelong member of the denomination, is accused of teaching doctrines contrary to the Church of the Nazarene. He is also being charged with conduct unbecoming of a minister for his efforts to move the denomination to affirm LGBTQ people. The church holds that “the practice of same-sex sexual intimacy is contrary to God’s will.”

If found guilty, Oord could lose his preaching credentials or possibly even his church membership. His trial will take place in Boise, Idaho, on July 25.

The trial follows last year’s guilty verdict against a San Diego Nazarene minister who published an essay in a book co-edited by Oord, titled “Why the Church of the Nazarene Should Be Fully LGBTQ+ Affirming” arguing that the church should have more dialogue on LGBTQ issues.

That minister, the Rev. Selden Kelley, who pastored San Diego’s First Church of the Nazarene, was stripped of his credentials and can no longer pastor a church or hold any position of leadership within the Church of the Nazarene.

Oord, who in 2015 was pushed out of his job at Northwest Nazarene University for his progressive views more generally, said the church tried to gag him into keeping silent about his upcoming trial. He has decided to speak publicly about it anyway. Two weeks ago he published a book called “My Defense: Responding to Charges that I Fully Affirm LGBTQ+ People.”

Church of the Nazarene headquarters in Lenexa, Kansas. (Photo courtesy Wikimedia/Creative Commons)
Church of the Nazarene headquarters in Lenexa, Kan.

“I’m convinced that I won’t get fair treatment going through the trial process,” Oord said. “And I want most of all to make a defense based on theology, not based on the legal nuances of the denomination’s manual.”

Oord has written widely that love is the center of what it means to follow Jesus and that love lies at the heart of holiness. Holiness is a critical doctrine of the Church of the Nazarene, which was formed out of the 19th-century Wesleyan-Holiness movement.

The 2.5 million-member global denomination is theologically conservative and has seen more growth overseas. It is declining in the U.S., where it has about 500,000 members in 4,600 churches.

The Rev. Scott Shaw, the district superintendent of the Intermountain District Church of the Nazarene who brought the charges against Oord, declined to comment on trial.

The church, which is governed by six elected general superintendents, last year put out a statement that the church’s positions on human sexuality, along with other positions on Christian character and conduct found in its manual or rulebook, were essentially doctrine.

This tightening of a church’s social policies and elevating them to the status of doctrine has also characterized recent moves in the Christian Reformed Church. The United Methodist Church, to which the Church of the Nazarene is more theologically akin (both trace their origin to John Wesley), underwent a major split over LGBTQ inclusion, losing 25% of its U.S. churches and more recently all its churches in the Ivory Coast of Africa. At its most recent conference, the church voted to repeal the denomination’s condemnation of homosexuality from its rulebook and allow LGBTQ people to be ordained and ministers in the denomination to marry same-sex couples.

An entrance to Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho. (Image courtesy Google Maps)
An entrance to Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho.

Oord said he became “queer affirming” in the early 1990s and spent the next few decades helping queer students at Eastern Nazarene College and later at Northwest Nazarene University feel embraced and loved. He now directs doctor of ministry students at Northwind Theological Seminary, an online-only school. His daughter, Alexa, with whom he co-edited “Why the Church of the Nazarene Should be Fully LGBTQ+ Affirming,” is bisexual.

Oord said he believes the majority of scholars in the Nazarene affiliated universities and seminaries are LGBTQ affirming but won’t say so publicly because they fear for their jobs. One of them, K. Steve McCormick, a professor emeritus at Nazarene Theological Seminary, is expected to testify on Oord’s behalf at the trial.

Last year, a dean at Point Loma Nazarene University, Mark Maddix, was fired for siding with a colleague who lost her job, also for siding with LGBTQ rights.

Church trials are a recent phenomenon in the denomination, said Ron Benefiel, an academic and a minister in the denomination. He said he anticipated that if Oord is found guilty there will be an appeal.

Oord said he is speaking out, against the guidance of the church, because he wants to encourage queer people and their allies and because he wants to make a theological case for LGBTQ inclusion.

“I really want to see the denomination live up to the calling of love that it claims that we’re trying to pursue,” Oord said. “It’s my belief that love requires people who are trying to be followers of Jesus to be fully affirming of queer people.”

Complete Article HERE!

I am retired clergy.

— I post on Facebook in support during pride month and all year long

Where would this world be without the gifted and talented members of the LGBTQ community who bring such beautiful gifts to our lives?

By Rev. Richard Ryan, Sellersburg, Indiana.

I frequently get comments asking me how and why I support PRIDE as a retired clergy and person of deep faith.

I share for my children, some whom identify as LGBTQ-plus, and I love them deeply. I post my support on social media for my LGBTQ niece, multiple cousins and my close personal friends. I post for the child in the pew who is horrified and filled with terror the first time they hear the pastor say they’re going to burn hell for something they can’t change. I share for the many talented church musicians I’ve known whose God given gifts were tossed aside when it was found that they loved someone of the same sex. I share for my friend’s son who was told after years of serving, that could no longer work with with the youth at church because he was gay. For the youth (and adults) of the church I served in Corydon, Indiana who were gay and two who were transgender, who suffered in silence.

I post for the woman who left my sales team because of my LGBTQ support, who shared that reason with the company president, not knowing the company president had a gay son. I post for my LGBTQ team leaders at work who are without a doubt the kindest and best of the best. I post for my LGBTQ church family who worship God along side me each Sunday at Highland Baptist. And I post for my dear friend and talented singer who died way to early because he couldn’t tell his church family that he was gay for fear of their rejection.

I post hoping to make a difference. I post hoping that the love of GOD breaks through hardened hearts and we realize that we are all God’s children, diverse and proud of who God created us to be. Where would this world be without the gifted and talented members of the LGBTQ community who bring such beautiful gifts to our lives?

Many have a deep faith in the same God as you do. We all want to be loved just as we are, without having to hide who we are and who God made us to be.

And, I post for the parents of LGBTQ-plus who fear their children will be abused in this world.

Yes, I post proudly for PRIDE and will throughout the year for all these children of God.

I believe God is big enough and generous enough to share the rainbow and celebrate the diversity of his children.

Yes, I post. Proudly.

Complete Article HERE!

Lavender and Green Alliance march in New York to celebrate 30th anniversary

Brendan Fay (centre) pictured during the 2024 Queer Liberation March in New York last Sunday.

By Brendan Fay

Drogheda and Ireland’s gay ambassador in New York, Brendan Fay, the man who founded the Irish LGBTQ group Lavender and Green Alliance – Muintir Aerach na hÉireann after fleeing the repressive laws in his native country in the nineties, has written this report on the organisation’s 30th anniversary.

On Sunday last, June 30th, the Irish LGBTQ group Lavender and Green Alliance – Muintir Aerach na hÉireann celebrated Pride by joining the 2024 Queer Liberation March.  Our 30th anniversary theme and message is “Éirimid Amach le Chéile -We rise and come out together.”

Mindful of the recent anti-gay and transgender slurs from Pope Francis and the Vatican as well a repeat of the ban on openly gay men from seminary or ordination we began the morning at St. Patrick’s Cathedral with a witness for Pride Sunday.

At the Cathedral steps I was with my spouse Tom who I met at a Dignity Mass in 1996 and Maya Milton, transgender organizer whose family come from Dublin. We held images of two friends who were inspiring and courageous gay priests Fr. John McNeill (1925-2015) and Fr Mychal Judge of 9/11 (1933-2001). In 1976 Fr McNeill wrote the book “The Church and the Homosexual” and came out as a gay priest. Fr Mychal Judge became known as the priest to call during the AIDS crisis.  

We also held an image of Stanley and Kathleen Rygor with their son Robert.  A leader in ACT UP Robert died from AIDS related illness in January 1994. Stanley (1926 – 2019) was popular in traditional Irish music circles in New York and sang in his parish choir for over 20 years. Kathleen (1929 – 2021) from Birr, Co. Offaly was outspoken as the mother of a gay son. I am currently working on a documentary film telling their story.

While welcoming the apology of Pope Francis, there is an urgent need for a more honest and open conversation in the Catholic Church and society. As LGBTQ communities honour Pride events in 2024 we are aware that in several countries people are suffering in silence, enduring harsh sentences, imprisonment, torture and threat of death because of their gender or sexual orientation. There is a lot more work needed to protect LGBTQ rights and stem the rise of anti LGBTQ prejudice here and in Ireland. We need stories to heal, give hope and raise awareness.

The Irish LGBTQ group then headed downtown, negotiated a labyrinth of police barricades and unfurled our banner at 15 Christopher Street in Greenwich Village. This was the site of the LGBTQ Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop founded in 1967 by gay pioneer Craig Rodwell. Irish artist and writer Krissy Mahan greeted the group from across the street with a T- shirt in Irish, “Saoirse don Phalaistín”.

Lavender and Green Alliance joined the Queer Liberation March at Sheridan Square close to the Stonewall Inn and site of the LGBTQ uprising of June 1969.  Some of the group held images of friends and pioneers of the LGBTQ community as well as rainbow coloured BRÓD (Irish for pride) signs with images of the postage stamps issued by the Irish Post Office honouring the Irish LGBTQ movement. Michael Kane, wearing a t-shirt with a map of Ireland in rainbow colors, said it meant a lot to him to carry the image of Fr. Mychal Judge who died on 9/11.

Along 7th Avenue seeing our banner, ‘Lavender and Green Alliance / Muintir Aerach na hÉireann celebrating Irish Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender, Heritage and Identity’ people photographed us saying how proud they were of Ireland’s global leadership on LGBTQ human rights. Others highlighted Ireland’s outspoken leadership for human rights in Palestine and Ukraine. We join the global call for a ceasefire in Palestine, freeing of hostages and access to urgently needed food and medicine.

Brendan Fay at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York with his spouse Tom and transgender organiser Maya Milton from Dublin.

A New York Pride gathering is also where long-time activist friends meet. Gay community legend Randy Wicker, an organizer in the 60s, has been a supporter of Lavender and Green Alliance joining us in many St. Patrick’s parades.  Someone came to tell of his friendship and shared kayaking with Belfast gay activist Tarlach MacNiallais (1962-2020).

Another thanked us for years of campaigning for inclusion in the St Patrick’s Parades on Fifth Avenue and the outer boroughs.  Young people out for the first time came to speak of being proud to be Irish and the gift of accepting parents and friends.

We told stories of Malachy McCourt’s support for Lavender and Green through the years. Veterans of ACT UP remembered Robert Rygor and his leadership during the AIDS crisis. As the group marched downtown to Battery Park texts came in from Donegal LGBTQ community leader Jen McCarron congratulating us on our 30 years of community advocacy.

Maya Milton who lives in the Bronx said, “I’m Irish American. I’m transgender and I am glad to be an organizer with Lavender and Green Alliance. When we are out and proud we can inspire others to be themselves and live their lives.”

Pride is a time of human solidarity and community when LGBTQ persons come out of closets of silence, rise in anger and hope from our second-class status, remember friends, lovers and pioneers who have gone before us and experience the empowerment, fun and joy of belonging to a global movement for change.

Complete Article HERE!

Rome Takes Historic Step Towards ‘Full Communion’ with Conservative Anglicans

— Groundbreaking agreement will include only those Anglican dioceses that do not ‘ordain’ female priests.

By Jules Gomes

The Vatican is taking historic strides towards achieving “full communion” with Anglicans who do not ordain female priests. It is doing so by recognizing Anglican holy orders and churches, but not requiring them to merge with or convert to Roman Catholicism.

“We are scheduled to begin our talks at the Vatican this coming September 26-27,” Bishop Ray Sutton, presiding bishop of the Reformed Episcopal Church in the U.S., announced in an Ecumenical Relations Task Force Report of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) College of Bishops.

The ACNA bishops, who oversee 128,000 Anglicans in more than 1,000 congregations across Canada, Mexico, and the United States, met during a provincial council from June 20-25 at St. Vincent’s College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.

Secret Vatican Meeting

The report reveals that Archbishop Foley Beach, who was then the primate of ACNA; Bishop Eric Menees, the chair of dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church; and Bishop Sutton flew to the Vatican for meetings at the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith (DDF) in June 2023.

The Anglican bishops held talks with Catholic Archbishop Joseph Augustine Di Noia, who was then the adjunct secretary of the DDF, and his assistant, Fr. Andrew Liaugminas, who is seconded to the DDF by the archdiocese of Chicago.

In an unprecedented move, the process of Anglican-Roman Catholic union is being led by the DDF — the Vatican’s doctrinal watchdog — instead of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity, which is the Holy See’s conventional means of dialogue with Christians of other denominations.

This correspondent learned of secret meetings between ACNA bishops and top officials at the DDF earlier this year and published an exclusive news story about the historic meeting in the summer edition of Mass of Ages, the quarterly magazine of the Latin Mass Society.

Proposal to Base Union on Malta I

According to the ecumenical report obtained by The Stream, the union between Rome and orthodox Anglicans aims to be based on a Malta II proposal — a manifesto that revives the Malta I agreement reached between Pope Paul VI and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Michael Ramsey, in 1966.

The Malta I agreement resolved to overcome differences between Catholics and Anglicans in matters like Petrine primacy, papal infallibility, and Mariology by ensuring that “neither Communion is tied to a positive acceptance of all the beliefs and devotional practices of the other.”

According to Malta I, unity and reciprocal acceptance of holy orders would be founded on the acknowledgment that each Communion “embraces the fundamental truths outlined in the ecumenical Creeds and the shared tradition of the ancient Church.”

“The Malta Report put forward a way to unity and communion between Rome and Anglicanism without requiring amalgamation or conversion to each other’s churches,” Sutton’s report underlined.

Liberal Anglicans Excluded

Historical events and past decrees like the papal bull Apostolicae Curae, which was issued in 1896 by Pope Leo XIII, declaring Anglican ordinations to be “absolutely null and utterly void,” are set to be reevaluated “only to the extent that they can shed light upon the facts of the present situation.” 

Bishop Sutton said that Rome’s agreement with ACNA would eventually be applied to the Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches (GFSA)/Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON), an association of conservative Anglicans in the non-Western world.

However, the process of working toward unity would not include “the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Church of England, the Anglican Church of Canada, or the Episcopal Church,” (Anglican bodies that ordain female priests and bishops), Sutton emphasized.

Roman Catholic officials holding senior positions in Rome have enthusiastically welcomed the proposal for “full communion” between Rome and the ACNA.

Catholics, Anglicans Welcome Proposals

Fr. Bryan Lobo, S.J., the dean of the Faculty of Missiology at the Pontifical Gregorian University, explained to The Stream the impact the move could have on the worldwide Church.

“Anglicans form the third largest body of Christians in the world (around 80 million members) behind the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches in more than 165 countries. Today, a majority (55%) of the world’s Anglicans live in sub-Saharan Africa,” Lobo observed.

“If this bold initiative works and is then broadened as the ACNA proposal states, communion between Catholics and Anglicans in the Global South would be an overwhelming witness of the Kingdom and mutually encouraging and empowering to both churches.

“I think ecumenism should be considered as one of the primary missions of the Church. I would therefore support any initiative of the Catholic Church towards ecumenism.”

Anglicans reciprocated with messages of hope that the joint venture would succeed.

“I’m an orthodox Anglican priest, so this would change my life, as I live in formerly Catholic Spain. I would love to help local Catholics by presiding at communion and hearing confessions,” said Fr. Duane Alexander Miller, an expert in World Christianity with a doctorate from Edinburgh University.

“I think it’s a good thing that the church is looking for unity since every single denomination already prays for Christian unity,” Fr. Calvin Robinson, a media celebrity and Old Catholic priest, told The Stream. “The ACNA has become the predominantly recognized orthodox Anglican body in the U.S., and while it still has some issues to work through, as do all denominations, the fact that they are engaging with Rome shows that they are serious about providing a Catholic perspective to the Christian faith in America.

“I know ‘ecumenism’ is a dirty word to some people, and there will be a lot of doubling down from people who do not actually want a united Church,” Robinson warned. “They will say there’s already the Ordinariate. Of course, the Ordinariate offers a very particular charism for very particular demographic, but it isn’t a way to reunite the church.”

Convert Clergy Hostile to Unity

Pope Benedict XVI established ordinariates in 2009 in the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus as a means of receiving converted Anglican priests or laity into the Roman Church. Most Anglican priests were reordained unless they could prove they had been “validly” ordained as Anglicans.

Anglican clergy who converted to Catholicism and are now members of the Ordinariate responded with hostility to the proposals for communion between Rome and the ACNA.

“Surely they should just join the ordinariate, no?” Fr. Ed Tomlinson, an Anglican convert and Ordinariate priest, posted on Facebook. “During those talks they will be told to join the ordinariate — that is Rome’s offer and it won’t change.”

Fr. John Konstantin Tee, also a convert and Ordinariate priest, responded, “The traditional teaching of the Church has always been that the Church is One. It’s just some people have separated from that unity. You have two choices. You either join that Church of Oneness or you choose to remain apart from it. Ecumenism is a non-sense born from a faulty Council.”

“It already had a dividing effect on the ACNA. Groups have already left,” an Ordinariate priest and convert posted on Twitter. “Also, as was said at the time, all they did was turn the clock back 20 years. Most of the serious Anglo Catholics have gone Ordinariate or Orthodox.”

Same-Sex Blessings Stall Talks

A high-level ACNA source told The Stream that a major sticking point in the dialogue was Pope Francis’ recent pastoral declaration Fiducia Supplicans, which permits priests to offer informal and non-liturgical blessings to same-sex couples.

The dialogue ground to an abrupt halt days after the DDF issued Fiducia supplicans, with Anglicans arguing that ACNA and other orthodox Anglicans had split from the Episcopal Church in the U.S. precisely over the issue of the acceptance of homosexual unions by liberal Anglican jurisdictions.

Bishop Sutton explained the problem orthodox Anglicans had with the document:

Fiducia Supplicans has resulted in conflicting interpretations of it, as well as polarization within the Roman Church. Cardinals, Archbishops, and Bishops have even opposed it. The USCCB has offered a ‘sic et non’ (‘yes’ and ‘no’) and mitigating statement in response to Fiducia Supplicans. With our conciliar view of the Church, we see the failure of a Magisterium to maintain the integrity and unity of the Faith.

The ACNA report clarified that the DDF had reassured Bishop Menees that “Fiducia Supplicans is actually an attempt to “curb but not open up the practice of homosexual behavior.” The Catholic Church “still prohibits homosexual practice and by canon warns of removal from the clergy for such behavior,” it added.

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On Rome’s side, the sticking point is with Anglicans who ordain women to the priesthood and episcopate. “The door of union and mutual recognition of holy orders would remain open only for Anglican provinces that were orthodox and had not permitted the ordination of women or gay blessings/marriage,” an ACNA source confirmed.

Meanwhile, on June 13, the Vatican released a document titled “The Bishop of Rome,” which seeks to reconfigure the office of the Bishop of Rome from an absolute monarchy into a ministry of “first among equals” for the sake of ecumenical unity, The Stream reported.

“Today the Petrine ministry cannot be fully understood without this openness to dialogue with all believers in Christ,” Pope Francis affirmed in the document.

Complete Article HERE!