VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 17, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of a notification from three Vatican congregations on courses aimed at the formation of women deaconesses.
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Notification of the Congregations for the Doctrine of the Faith, for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, and for the Clergy
1. Our Dicasteries have heard reports from some countries of programs and developments under way, geared either directly or indirectly to the diaconal ordination of women. Thus, certain expectations are being established, which are lacking in solid doctrinal foundation and which, consequently, can generate pastoral confusion.
2. Since ecclesial ordination does not foresee the possibility of such an ordination, it is not licit to implement initiatives that, in some way, look to preparing candidates for the diaconal Order.
3. In keeping with the constant ecclesiastical Magisterium, with special reference to that of His Holiness John Paul II, the authentic promotion of woman in the Church opens other ample prospects of service and collaboration.
4. Therefore, in the area of their own competence, the undersigned Congregations turn to the individual Ordinaries so that they will explain this to their own faithful and apply the foregoing directive diligently.
This Notification was approved by the Holy Father on September 14, 2001.
From the Vatican, September 17, 2001
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Jorge Arturo Cardinal Medina Estévez
Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
Darío Cardinal Castrillón Hoyos
Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy
[Translation from original Italian text by ZENIT]