(LifeSiteNews) — Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò has declared that Pope Francis’ invitation to a female Anglican prelate to speak to the Council of Cardinals about “gender equality and the role of women in the Church” signals his intention to eventually “ordain” women.
In a message posted to X on Tuesday, Archbishop Viganò wrote, “Bergoglio intends to fundamentally change the concept of Holy Orders, placing alongside the Priesthood (reserved for men) forms of ‘non-ordained’ ministry for women, with a view to their sacramental ordination.”
Bergoglio intends to fundamentally change the concept of Holy Orders, placing alongside the Priesthood (reserved for men) forms of "non-ordained" ministry for women, with a view to their sacramental ordination.
— Arcivescovo Carlo Maria Viganò (@CarloMVigano) February 6, 2024
The Vatican whistleblower anticipated the objection that Francis “does not want to make women deacons or women priests, much less women bishops, and that these are speculations put out by those who sow division among the faithful.”
“If that is the case, why did Bergoglio invite an Anglican ‘bishopess,’ i.e., a heretical, schismatic, invalidly ordained woman, to the Council of Cardinals meeting to speak about ‘gender equality and the role of women in the Church’?” he questioned.
The archbishop’s assessment is shared by Deacon Nick Donnelly, who wrote regarding Rev. Jo Bailey Wells’ presence before the pope and the C9 that Catholics “couldn’t have a stronger signal that Bergoglio is planning the faux ordination of women deacons, with a trajectory towards the faux ordination of women priests and bishops.”
Jorge Bergoglio has invited a woman Anglican bishop to address his advisory council of cardinals about the role of women in the Church
Couldn't have a stronger signal that Bergoglio is planning the faux ordination of women deacons, with a trajectory towards the faux ordination… https://t.co/YVJjcwb4a9
— Nick Donnelly (@ProtecttheFaith) February 6, 2024
Wells, a “bishop” of the Church of England who has been described as “a pioneer in the spread of equality between the sexes,” gave a speech to Pope Francis and his Council of Cardinals on Monday.
The C9 – as the group is known – is continuing the examination of the “role of women in the Church,” a subject it began discussing in December 2023. The timing of such discussions is significant, given that the 2023 Synod on Synodality interim report highlighted an “urgent” call for canon law to be changed in order to allow more female governance roles.
A Synod on Synodality voting lay member shared last year that “a large number of bishops” are now “ready to take clear steps” to women’s “ordination” via a discussion on “women deacons.”
Helena Jeppesen-Spuhler, a member of the Swiss delegation to the Synod’s European Assembly, clarified that while she doesn’t think “women priests” are now possible, she sees that the possibility of women’s “ordination” to the diaconate is on the table.
“There are now a large number of bishops who are ready to take clear steps,” said Jeppesen. “The priesthood of women will not be introduced immediately, but the diaconate of women should be seriously discussed at the assembly in Rome.”
Regarding the “role of women” in the Catholic Church in general, Jeppesen said “it became clear in practically all country reports that the church must finally move forward.”
Both clerical and lay Catholics have raised concerns that the Synod on Synodality’s call for increased female governance may signal the Church hierarchy’s intention to “ordain” women. Indeed, the campaign for female “deacons” continues to receive vocal support from leading members of the synod, as evidenced by Cardinal Blase Cupich advocating for recognition of women “pastors” who are already “serving as the head of communities because they don’t have enough priests.”
Pope Francis established a 12-member commission to study the issue of “women deacons” in August 2016, and the commission included a leading advocate of “ordaining” women to the diaconate. With another commission then drawn up in 2020, the 2023 Synod report called for the results of both studies to be presented at the October 2024 Synod meetings.
Theologian and liturgical scholar Dr. Peter Kwasniewski has explained in his book Ministers of Christ that not only “women priests” but “women deacons” are impossible because “all liturgical services within the sanctuary of the church represent Christ, the supreme ‘deacon.’”
Kwasniewski pointed out that minor orders, including the diaconate, cannot be compartmentalized from the priesthood, but “order the soul of the minor cleric gradually toward the eventual reception of the sacred priesthood itself, preparing him not merely at a natural level through the discharging of sacred duties but supernaturally through the spiritual conferral of priestly powers.”
While in Heaven, there is a hierarchy purely of “sanctity,” on earth, “we must walk by the sight of signs of [God] that form and direct our faith,” and “it would be not only misleading but false to set up, in the Church on earth, signs of ecclesial governance…that lacked explicit reference to the God-man,” Kwasniewski explained.
Pope John Paul II affirmed this truth when he condemned attempts at female “ordination” in his 1994 apostolic letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, writing: “I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.”
This letter, former CDF prefect Cardinal Gerhard Müller explained, refers to the diaconate as well, and expresses a “dogma” of the Catholic Faith.
He further noted that “the impossibility that a woman validly receives the Sacrament of Holy Orders in each of the three degrees [deacon, priest, bishop] is a truth contained in Revelation and it is thus infallibly confirmed by the Church’s Magisterium and presented as to be believed.”