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Phyllis Zagano (Supplied)

Phyllis Zagano is often cited as an advocate for women deacons in the Catholic Church. But the US-based academic doesn’t see her work as advocacy. Source: ACU.

“I don’t like to think of myself as an advocate,” Dr Zagano said. “I present facts and the fact is that the Church did sacramentally ordain women as deacons.”

Dr Zagano will outline the history and arguments for the ordination of women to the diaconate when she delivers a public lecture for the ACU Centre for Liturgy on August 7.

In 2016, Dr Zagano was one of 12 experts appointed to Pope Francis’ commission to study the history of women deacons. 

“There is no doctrinal teaching saying the Church cannot restore the practice (of ordaining women deacons), but it’s a practice that is up to the discernment of the Pope since it’s currently not allowed in Canon Law,” Dr Zagano said.

In her online public lecture, Dr Zagano will offer insights into the ongoing ecclesial discussions about women deacons, including possible decisions at the upcoming October synodal assembly.

“The present is searching for the truth,” Dr Zagano said. “If the Church needs women deacons ordained at this time in history, the Church will not be denied. The Church must listen to the voice of the Spirit.”

ACU Centre for Liturgy director Professor Clare Johnson said in light of the Australian Plenary Council’s support for the admission of women as deacons (should the universal law of the Church be modified to authorise this), and the upcoming synodal assembly in Rome, Dr Zagano’s historical insights would be timely.

Details and registrations:


 Seeking the truth about women deacons a public lecture with Dr Phyllis Zagano (ACU)