Priests respond to Pope Francis on Women Deacons: Come, Holy Spirit!

 May 8, 2019 • For immediate release

 Following reported comments by Pope Francis, that the Study Commission on the Women’s Diaconate was inconclusive, the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests continued an urgent call for ongoing study and prayer for the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

 Women deacons served the early Church, but members of the Study Commission did not agree whether men and women were ordained in the same manner.

 “We had hoped for a definitive answer,” said Father Bob Bonnot, executive director of the AUSCP, “but we are heartened by the pope’s comments that more study is needed. We continue to call on the Holy Spirit to guide this ongoing study.”

 An AUSCP working group is preparing a “Declaration on the Status of Women” which will include a call for full participation of women in the Church today.

 “The challenge for the future of the church is to institute pathways to shared governance and ministry that have traditionally been open to male, celibate clergy alone in the Roman Catholic Church. To do so begins with conversation and dialogue among all the People of God,” according to an early draft of the Declaration.

 It also states, that “we trust that with the help of the Holy Spirit [that] we, the People of God, can overcome the grief and anxiety caused by the crises in our Catholic Church today, but only if the institutional Church engages women as equals in dealing with those crises and overcoming them.”

 Contact Rev. Bernard “Bob” Bonnot,, (330) 397-1257, or

Sr. Jacquelyn Doepker, OSF, Executive Secretary,, (872) 205-5862