A New Phoebe: Perspectives on Roman Catholic Women and the Permanent Diaconate

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Since the re-introduction of the permanent diaconate for men after the Second Vatican Council there has been debate over whether women should be included. Would diaconal ordination be a support in the charitable and ecclesiastical tasks women are already performing? Is it necessary? Would it be a help or a hindrance in women's attaining the priesthood? In A New Phoebe, women in the U.S. and German―the two countries with the most deacons―write about their ideas and experiences of ministry: some would seek the diaconate if it were open, others would not. The concluding essays, including an interview with Bishop Ernest Unterkoefler, the first chair of the U.S. Bishops' Committee on the Permanent Diaconate, provide additional historical background.

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