Plan A — how a typical Catholic might imagine that the Pope would institute ordained women deacons.
1. Have a commission recommend ordaining women deacons
2. Consult with the Bishops and get their support
3. Teach that the Church has the authority to ordain women as deacons
4. Once the teaching is well-accepted, change Canon law
5. Then begin training women for the diaconate
6. Finally, ordain women deacons
But this type of plan, which is not an actual plan-in-motion, but just a hypothetical, would meet with much opposition. A commission might not agree among themselves on women deacons. Some Bishops might oppose the idea, and speak against it. If the Pope were then to teach that women can be ordained as deacons, the teaching would have much opposition that had built up prior to the teaching being issued, due to the appointment of a commission, the consultation with Bishops, etc.
The result would be that women who sought the diaconate might meet with much local opposition, which would turn some women away from being deacons. The number of women deacons would gradually increase, at a very slow rate. Such a plan would not work very well. It is not practical
Plan B — a practical plan for a quick establishment of ordained female deacons.
1. Publish a document stating that the Church formerly had non-ordained women deacons. This is true and is agreed upon by almost everyone who has looked into the historical case. It would be difficult to oppose this document.
2. Establish a present-day non-ordained diaconate for women. Now women already serve in every parish and diocese in many capacities. Dioceses and parishes would virtually shutdown without the time and effort of these lay women. It would be easy to find acceptance for non-ordained women deacons. They would receive training. They would be lectors and acolytes at Mass, something already approved by the Pope. Soon tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of women would be non-ordained deacons throughout the world.
3. Publish a document teaching, under Papal Infallibility, that the Church has the authority to ordain women as deacons.
4. Ordain the non-ordained women deacons, and you will instantly have a vast number of ordained women in nearly every diocese and parish in the world.
It would be very difficult for parishes to oppose this plan. The non-ordained deaconesses would already be established in very many places, and they would already have garnered the support of many priests, male deacons, and lay parishioners. Many women who already have nearly indispensable roles in parish life would become ordained deaconesses. The plan would set the Church on an irreversible path. So many ordained women would be already in place, as non-ordained deaconesses who were next ordained, that they could not be removed, not even after the Pontificate of Pope Francis ends.
Do I think it is a good idea, at this point in time, to ordain women deacons? No. If it were up to me, I don’t think I would give the Church ordained deaconesses at this time. But I perceive that it is the will of God, so I support the idea.
I’m fairly certain that Pope Francis will teach that women can be ordained as deaconesses. It will happen during his Pontificate. I also expect him to teach on salvation for non-Christians and non-believers. And then he will probably be forced to resign.