Publication Date



Diaconate, Women, Same-Sex, LGBTQI


This paper recommends that the Catholic Church reflect on its past and current exclusion of women from the diaconate and exclusion of those who identify as LGBTQI from full participation in the Church. This paper argues the early Catholic church was enriched and broadened by women who served in many roles including as leaders of the church in their communities. In the two millennium since then women, individually and collectively, have continued to enrich the church both theologically and as exemplars of Jesus’ message to serve the poor. This paper also argues that Saint Paul did not condemn same-sex attraction in his letters. Instead, he was condemning pedophiles. Later, the church became virulently homophobic, with church leaders wrongly citing Paul’s condemnation of pedophiles as the basis for its rejection of people with same-sex attraction. The church later expanded its exclusionary practices to encompass all LGBTQI people, which is inconsistent with Jesus’ message to reach out to the oppressed. This paper recommends that the church welcome women as eligible for the diaconate and that it gather the LGBTQI community within its loving embrace without prejudice.