Austrian sister calls for ordination of women deacons

The Catholic church in Austria made international headlines with the Austrian Priests' Initiative, founded in 2006, and last year's "Appeal to Disobedience." The April 30 NCR article "For a year now, Austrian Catholics debate obedience" provides an excellent summary.

Today, The Tablet published a short article titled "Leading nun calls for women deacons":

The leading voice of women religious in Austria has called for the ordination of women as deacons.

In an interview in the June issue of the Austrian monthly Kirche In, the President of the Association of women religious in Austria, Sr Kunigunde Fürst (a Franciscan Sister of Vöcklabruck), said: "Why should it not be possible to ordain women deacons? Why are they being excluded from performing deacons' services?" She went on to suggest that the Catholic hierarchy were afraid of women's advancement. "Could it be that the hierarchy is afraid that women will get too close to the priesthood and then perhaps even move on to becoming bishops?" she asked. "That is not a good kind of fear," she added.

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