The Future of Women Deacons – updated

The Fordham Center on Religion and Culture will hold a symposium on women deacons on January 15, at 6 pm at Lincoln Center. “The Future of Women Deacons: Views from the Papal Commission and from the American Pews” promises to be a significant discussion. Will it tell us anything new? It can’t help but do so: This will be the first time that anyone from the Papal Study Commission has spoken publicly about their work.

The panel will include two members of the commission, which was formed by Pope Francis in 2016 to study the issue of women deacons.

Phyllis Zagano, who is the author of several books about women deacons and a research scholar at Hofstra University, will speak. She is a well known authority on the subject.


Fr. Bernard Pottier, SJ, is the other speaker who served on the Vatican commission. Although less well-known to an American audience, he is an eminent scholar and member of the International Theological Commission. He serves on the faculty of the Institut d’Études Théologiques in Brussels. As I reported at Pray Tell in an early post about the commission, his background is in patristics (Gregory of Nyssa).


They will be joined by Sr. Donna Ciangio, OP, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Newark, and Principal and Founder of Church Leadership Consultation, an organization devoted to mission development and pastoral planning. She is the chairperson of the North American Forum on Small Christian Communities, and is past director of RENEW International. She has done research on how Catholics might receive women deacons at the parish level.


Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB, will moderate the panel. He is currently President of Salt & Light Media, a Canadian foundation committed to advancing the New Evangelization. Fr. Rosica is well known in the Catholic media world, and serves as the English language media attaché for the Holy See.


The mission of the Fordham Center on Religion and Culture is to assist people in engaging “the questions arising at the intersection of religious traditions and contemporary culture. Drawing on New York’s leading role in intellectual and literary life, the visual and performing arts, politics, media, diplomacy and humanitarian activities, CRC programs aim to promote intellectual enrichment and affirm Fordham’s leadership role as a shaping force in the public discourse.” Their programming is always thought-provoking and well worth attending.

For more information and to register, you can visit their website.

UPDATE (1/12/19):

This program will be live streamed by Salt and Light Media. For more information, visit:


For a report on the Symposium, click here.


7 responses to “The Future of Women Deacons – updated”

  1. Devin Rice Avatar
    Devin Rice

    Will this panel be streamed or recorded?

    1. Rita Ferrone Avatar
      Rita Ferrone

      Not sure. There hasn’t been any indication that it is going to be streamed or recorded, so I assume that it’s not.

      I intend to go and bring a report to Pray Tell afterwards. If there is a recorded version I can find out and post that information in my report.

      1. Devin Rice Avatar
        Devin Rice

        Thank you.

  2. Paul Schlachter Avatar

    Salt & Light TV at its website is announcing a live streaming of the women deacon panel.

    1. Rita Ferrone Avatar
      Rita Ferrone

      Thank you for alerting us to this, Paul! They just put this announcement up yesterday. I have updated the post.

  3. Matthew Nelson Avatar
    Matthew Nelson

    Thanks for posting this Rita. Can’t wait to listen in!

  4. Donna Zuroweste Avatar
    Donna Zuroweste

    Jesuit Media also recorded it. The link is available on Fr. James Martin SJ’s FB page, or you can look it up. 🙂

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