German Bishop Commissions 13 Female ‘Deacons in the Spirit’ with Support of Bishops’ Conference Head

Thirteen German women have been “commissioned” as “deacons in the spirit” by a local bishop following a three-year “female deacons” training plan, in an event praised by the president of the German bishops’ conference.

On April 13, the auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Essen, Bishop Ludger Schepers, commissioned 13 women who had completed a three and a half year training program with the “Women’s Diaconate Network.” The Franciscan community of Waldbreitbach who hosted the event described the women as being commissioned as “deacons in the spirit.”

Schepers celebrated a Mass and certificate-awarding ceremony for the 13 women in his capacity as a long-standing friend and supporter of the movement. The bishop has a long history of heterodoxy and was the first German Catholic bishop to attend a homosexual “blessing” in 2022. He was recently appointed by the German bishops as the first “commissioner for queer pastoral care.”

In his homily, which he delivered jointly with Sister Edith-Maria Magar, the superior of Waldbreitbach, he called for the recognition of women as deacons. A summary of his words stated that he “emphasized that women are also called. Women rightly felt discriminated against in the Church and excluded with their calling.”

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