My prediction: Pope Francis will ordain women deacons in 2016

Here is the news report: Did Pope Francis Just Pave the Way for Women Priests?

First of all, the holy Pontiff was only talking about women deacons, not women priests. The news media, as usual, distorted the Pope’s comments.

Second, he only said he would appoint an official commission to study the question of women deacons. At a conference, a nun asked the Pope:

“Why not construct an official commission that might study the question?”

“Constituting an official commission that might study the question?” Francis asked. “I believe yes. It would do good for the church to clarify this point. I am in agreement. I will speak to do something like this.”

But my third point is that Pope Francis is not like other recent Pontiffs. He is liberal, not conservative. He wishes to reform the Church, by making changes in discipline and by clarifying doctrine. He also has stated that he wishes to give women a greater role in the Church. So I believe that Pope Francis will decide two things:
(1) to teach that the Church has the authority to ordain women as deacons (not as priests),
(2) to institute the necessary changes to discipline and law in the Church, so that women will be ordained as deacons.

And my prediction is that all this will unfold this calendar year: 2016.


If you think that traditionalists and some conservatives were very upset at Amoris Laetitia, well, you’ve never seen them very upset. I thought that the Synod and Amoris Laetitia might precipitate a schism. But it only seems to have moved some traditionalists and conservatives to greater animosity, not outright schism. But the ordaining of women deacons will be absolutely unacceptable to Catholics on the far right. They will accuse Pope Francis of heresy, and will depart from communion with the one true Church.

Ordinatio Sacerdotalis

Pope Saint John Paul II infallibly taught, in the document Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, that Jesus did not give His Church the authority to ordain women to the priesthood. And since a Bishop is a kind of priest, and a Pope is a kind of Bishop, women cannot be priest, Bishop, or Pope in the Church. When Christ returns, he can possibly give the Church the authority to ordain women as priests. But until then, the Church has neither the authority, nor the ability.

But ordaining women to the diaconate is an open question. Deacons do not administer any Sacrament, other than Baptism and marriage, and these are the same two Sacraments that any layman or laywoman can possibly administer, in extraordinary cases. So the teaching that women cannot be priests does not apply to the diaconate. It is a separate question.

My theological opinion is that the Church does have the authority to ordain women as deacons. And my prediction is that Pope Francis will teach the same, and will approve of the ordination of women deacons.

See my book In Defense of Pope Francis for my lengthy explanation as to why no Pope can ever commit the sins of apostasy, heresy, or schism, and no Pope can ever teach heresy. Pope Francis cannot possibly be a heretic, nor can he possibly teach heresy. So if he decides to teach that women can be ordained as deacons, it is the truth in Christ. If anyone rejects Pope Francis, accusing him of heresy for this or any other reason, that person commits the sin of schism and falls under the sentence of automatic excommunication from the one true Church.

See my past posts on this subject here.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

Please take a look at this list of my books and booklets, and see if any topic interests you.

Gallery | This entry was posted in Pope Francis, Sacraments. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to My prediction: Pope Francis will ordain women deacons in 2016

  1. Patricia says:

    Hello Ron,
    I understand where the Pope is coming from and that he is looking into the possibility of women becoming deacons but I do not believe women should be allowed to. Even in the case of the sacraments of baptism and marriage. I feel the only reason for the push is because of the lack of priest and deacons. I used to be hard right in regards to the church but over the past 8 years I have moved my thoughts on some issues. . I do see the world changing but one of things I love so much about the church other then tradition is the fact as a Catholic… we have the whole pie. Not just bits and pieces and we do not or should not pick and choose what we should believe and what we should not. I do believe in the infallibility of the pope in regards to faith matters. I will never leave the church over women becoming deacons…I’m not so sure it will come to fruition as you do. The reason I’ll never leave is because of the Eucharist. But I do agree there are hard right conservative Catholics who will come unglued if he does follow through and ordain women to be deacons. I may not agree but I will not leave the church over such things.

    • Ron Conte says:

      I feel, as perhaps you do also, that ordaining women deacons, at this point in time, is imprudent. But our present Pontiff excels in love and holiness, but not so much in prudence.

  2. Dad says:

    Since conservatives seem to be the Catholics most likely to believe in the Eucharist, it is hard to imagine they would leave both it and the Church due to women deacons. Where would they go? It seems more of a progressive trait to doubt the real presence. I think the apostasy will mostly come from that group of people. Am I missing something?

  3. William Merlock says:

    Remember that Christ’s treatment of women, the dignity he showed them, was scandalous in His day. Jesus may have been the least prudent person who ever walked this earth! (I mean that respectfully… He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and those all take precedence over prudence.) There is historic evidence that women were ordained deacons in the early church. I trust the Holy Spirit to guide the Pope and fill him with the grace to make the right decision for the Church at this moment in time.

    Let us continue to pray for unity in the Church. Thank you, Ron, for your writings.

  4. alexarsuffi84 says:

    I generally consider myself a traditionalist, but not a conservative. That means to me that any reform in the Church should pass through the genuine Tradition of the Catholic Church. The model of the first millennium Church is to me the most shining point of reference for any reform. That’s why I’m in favour of deaconesses and even of the ordination of married men to the priestly order. If the Church did it in the past under the guidance and approval of the Pope, why object it in our days? If it wasn’t heresy then, and no magisterial document declared it heresy later, the faithful should be more than happy about it. Will there be a schism? Possibly. Will the Pope do whatever his God-breathed consciousness asks him, even with the risk of a schism? Certainly he will, as Francis has proven a free-thinker, mostly ignoring on many occasions the objections against his papacy. Let’s just hope it doesn’t take years to make a binding decision for the Church.

  5. Patricia says:

    I have no objections to married men becoming priest. I know of a priest who was from another faith and was already a pastor/minister. He was allowed to become a priest because he also converted to the faith. He received a special dispensation from Rome. In my opinion Jesus was a radical and in a loving way stirred the pot because of what the Pharisees were doing with all the laws they imposed on the Jewish people. What’s hard for me is the progressives think that the Catholic church is out of line with the current world. And that “the church” should move with the times. But of course they do not know the catholic faith or believe what the church stands for. I don’t believe he will allow women to become priest because it doesn’t make sense. The Church is the bride of Christ and he is the groom. You cannot have a women be the groom because she a female. I hope that makes sense.

    • Ron Conte says:

      The teaching is infallible that Jesus did not give His Church the authority to ordain women as priests. It is an open question as to whether the Church has the authority to ordain women as deacons.

    • alexarsuffi84 says:

      I don’t agree on the definition of Jesus as a radical. Jesus wasn’t radical, progressive, conservative or traditionalist. He was just the Truth with a capital T and for that reason he looked a free-thinker to those who met him, sometimes liberal, sometimes ultra-conservative, but in any case an authoritative person who knew what he was talking about. Ultimately, only humans can ascribe to parties and factions. I also believe that women can’t be priests, as Ron does, but not because of his teaching, which I often dispute, but as the Church has defined it.

  6. Francisco says:

    Pope Francis has said that he would like to broaden the opportunities for a more incisive female presence in the Church (Joy of the Gospel # 103). But, he has also already made it clear that the reservation of the priesthood to males is not an open question –> ( # 104). So forget about thinking that the Church may ordain women as Priest, the question has infallibly been closed as NO.

Comments are closed.