Three individual yet interlocked essays constitute this book exploring the past (the first essay), the present (the second essay), and the future (the third essay) of women deacons in the Catholic Church. The individual essays are very strong in their individuality, providing solid foundations for the consideration of the primary question being explored in this book.
The essays are incredibly persuasive and logical in their provision of supporting arguments, and concentrate their arguments, rightfully so, solely on the question of the ordination of women to the diaconate as a renewed, separate and stable order of ministry within the Church. The authors also recognise that the question of the ordination of women to the diaconate is not yet settled and requires more engagement by theologians and Church officialdom.
My one concern in reading these essays which were otherwise of excellent quality is the worldview from which they are written, i.e. a Western liberal perspective – and perhaps more specifically an American Western liberal perspective. It would be interesting to explore writings on the question of ordination of women to the diaconate from an African or Asian perspective, if only for the sake of cultural balance.
Given the renewed interest in this question at the highest levels during the pontificate of Pope Francis, this is a book that should be read widely by the Church.