Deacons cannot celebrate Mass, so why can't women be ordained to the diaconate?


Full Question

Deacons cannot celebrate Mass, so why can't women be ordained to the diaconate?

Answer

Women cannot be ordained deacons because deacons receive the sacrament of holy orders, which women cannot validly receive. Deacons receive this sacrament in a lesser degree than priests or bishops, but they do receive it, so potential candidates must be capable of receiving it. Deacons do not preside at Mass but they do read the Gospel and are allowed to preach at Mass, functions that are considered in a certain sense to be apostolic. Because deacons share in the apostolic ministry, it is fitting that they be men as were the apostles Jesus chose.