HomeEuropeCourt fines Belgian cardinal, archbishop for denying woman admission to diaconate

Court fines Belgian cardinal, archbishop for denying woman admission to diaconate

The court in Mechelen ruled that the archbishops made a mistake when refusing Dusauchoit entry to the program but did not address the question of actually ordaining Dusauchoit. According to De Morgen, the court cannot overturn the archbishop’s refusal or decide in his place who will be admitted to deacon training. 

“We received the verdict yesterday afternoon, are now studying it, and will then decide how to proceed,” a spokesman for the archdiocese said in response to a request from the website katholisch.de on Wednesday. 

The Catholic Church teaches that holy orders — of which there are three degrees of diaconate, priesthood, and episcopate — is the sacrament of apostolic ministry and is reserved to baptized men.

Pope Francis has reiterated numerous times that holy orders are “reserved to men.”  

Dusauchoit, 62, has served at her parish church in a Flemish part of Belgium for years, according to De Morgen. As her parish no longer has a priest, Dusauchoit got involved with arranging funerals and scriptural readings, katholish.de reported. 

In an April 22 op-ed, Dusauchoit described herself as a “religious, socially committed, feminist, and ecologically inspired woman.” She claimed that as late as the 1970s in Belgium, wives of deacons were required to attend deacon training together with their husbands. 

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