My Photo
Location: United States

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The SSPX, Kirill's Orthodoxy, and the burqa/burkini

Still seeing stuff about the burqa and the burkini in the news. I'm a social and political liberal - a pro-choice Democrat in favor of women's rights - so it's just weird for me to see so many other liberals defending these restrictive garments. I don't think people realize that when they are defending the (coerced) wearing of things like the burqa and burkini, they are defending the Muslim version of the Catholic SSPX or Kirill's brand of Orthodoxy.

The SSPX, for those who don't know ...

The Society of Saint Pius X (Latin: Fraternitas Sacerdotalis Sancti Pii X; Spanish: Hermandad Sacerdotal de San Pío X; also informally known as the SSPX) is an international priestly fraternity founded in 1970 by the French Roman Catholic Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. The Society of St Pius X denies the legitimacy and authority of the Second Vatican Council,[citation needed] its teaching and of all the liturgical reforms that followed it, particularly the reform of the Roman Missal (1970), and refuses in practice to submit to the authority of the pope and the bishops in union with him.

The SSPX is about as right wing and conservative (and anti-Semitic) as you can get in the Catholic church, and they have a particular idea of what exactly women should and shouldn't wear .... they especially hate women wearing trousers.

And then there's Putin's buddy, the Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kiril. His church has some ideas of how women should dress as well ... A Dress Code For Russians? Priest Chides Skimpiness

Most liberals in the west recognize that conservative religious factions trying to impose a dress code on women is anti-feminist, as long as it's being imposed by religions in the west. I don't understand why, when conservative Muslim religious factions expect women to wear garments like the burqa and burkini, these same liberals defend the "right" of women to wear this imposed clothing rather than addressing the imposition itself.

Maajid Nawaz: The Great Hypocritical Muslim Cover-Up ...

[...] When it comes to Muslims, Western liberals seem perennially confused between possessing a right to do something, and being right when doing it.

For example, American Christian fundamentalists have the right to speak, but non-Muslim liberals routinely—and rightly—challenge their views on issues such as abortion and marriage rights. To do so is not to question their right to speak, but to challenge their belief that they are right when they speak.

To my mind no liberal, Muslim or otherwise, could adopt any other policy toward Muslim religious-conservatives unless they hold a double standard for Muslim peoples as not capable or deserving of liberty. If liberals are comfortable challenging Christian fundamentalist attitudes toward marriage and birth control, then we should be equally as comfortable challenging the Muslim religious-right’s “modesty” theology.

Why is a woman in a headscarf deemed more modest than one without, and what implication does that have in attitudes toward the “honor” of women who do not cover? Only a racism of low expectations would prevent liberals from asking these questions of my religious-conservative fellow Muslims. No idea is above scrutiny, just as no person should be beneath dignity ...

Monday, August 29, 2016

Gene Wilder: RIP

Sad to see Gene Wilder has died. Here's a clip from my favorite role of his,, Dr. Frankenstein, in Young Frankenstein ....

While You Were Fighting: A Thor Mockumentary

I'm looking forward to the DVD release of Captain America: Civil War in a week or so. In the film, Captain America/Steve Rogers and Iron Man/Tony Stark get into a big disagreement and try to get different members of the Avengers on their sides. Not Thor, though - for some reason, he wasn't in the movie. So what was he doing while the other Avengers were choosing sides? Taking some personal time :) ...

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Today's Gospel reading

He said also to the one who had invited him, ‘When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbours, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.’ - Luke 14: 12-14


Wiggling around on the porch :)

Thursday, August 25, 2016


- Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir at Yosemite National Park. The National Park Service celebrates its 100th anniversary

- Police set to interview Cardinal George Pell

- Stop shaming women for seeking equal power in the church

- It's Hard to Go to Church: A new survey suggests the logistics of going to services can be the biggest barrier to participation—and Americans’ faith in religious institutions is declining.

- I received another email from Bernie Sanders today asking for donations to fund "Our Revolution" (I didn't vote for him) and so it was interesting to see this article today too at The Atlantic. Here's the beginning of it: Bad Omens for Bernie's Political Revolution ...

Bernie Sanders wants to prove his political movement won’t end now that his presidential campaign is over—and so far, it’s not going very well. An organization set up to carry on his legacy, Our Revolution, has faced legal scrutiny in the press, and a number of key staffers have departed. Meanwhile, Tim Canova, the candidate Sanders endorsed as a challenger to former Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, may be defeated badly in Florida’s upcoming Democratic primary race. Instead of unity and progressive victory, the next phase of the political revolution may be marked by bitterness and disappointment ...

Throwback Thursday


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Man of Steel

- Clark Kent asks a priest for advice

This week's movie checkout from the public library was Man of Steel ...

a 2013 superhero film featuring the DC Comics character Superman .... Directed by Zack Snyder and written by David S. Goyer, the film stars Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Kevin Costner, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Antje Traue, Ayelet Zurer, Christopher Meloni, and Russell Crowe. Man of Steel is a reboot of the Superman film series that retells the character's origin story. In the film, Clark Kent learns that he is a superpowered alien from the planet Krypton and assumes the role of mankind's protector as Superman, but finds himself having to prevent General Zod from destroying humanity.

I hadn't wanted to see the film when it came out because I had really liked the earlier version of Clark Kent/Superman with Christopher Reeve, but after seeing Superman V Batman I decided to give it a try.

Most people know the basic story so I'll just give the bare bones: The planet Krypton is self-destructing and Jor-El (Russell Crowe) sends his baby son in a space ship to Earth to save him. He's discovered and adopted by Kansas farmers Jonathan (Kevin Costner) and Martha (Diane Lane) Kent and is named Clark. He has unusual powers and he has a very hard time finding his way, but eventually grows up to be a protector and savior of people in distress. Then Zod and his minions, Kryptonian criminals who also escaped the destruction of their planet, come to Earth and wreak havoc until Clark/Superman stops them. Along the way he meets Lois Lane, investigative reporter, and ends up working at the Daily Planet newspaper himself.

What I liked best about the movie was the relationship between Clark and his adoptive father Jonathan. I though Kevin Costner did a good job with the role of Jonathan and he kind of reminded me of my grandfather. Here are a couple of scenes with Clark and Jonathan: the first is when Clark is a boy and has just saved some of his classmates from drowning - he doesn't understand why he has powers, and Jonathan finally tells him why ...

Here is the scene where Jonathan dies ...

And here is the very end ...

So I mostly did like the movie, and recommend it though I thought the scenes on Krypton and the scenes of battle later with Zod and his minions dragged on too long. Here's a review from TIME magazine: Man of Steel: Super Man … or Human God?

Friday, August 19, 2016

Germany considers banning the burqa

- Source

In the news, Germany is considering banning the burqa: Why are the burqa and burkini being banned?.

I think that would be a good thing for women, but I'm apparently the lone liberal against the forced wearing of restrictive garments like the burqa - almost every article I've seen on the subject in the liberal press says we should let women who want to wear burqas wear them. Here's what I think: it's bad enough for men to coerce women into wearing garments that obliterate their bodies, their faces, their persons, but what is almost worse is to get those women to the point that they believe doing so is their own choice. Here's the beginning of an article from 2009 in The New York Times by Mona Eltahawy, an Egyptian-born commentator on Arab and Muslim issues ...

Ban the Burqa

I am a Muslim, I am a feminist and I detest the full-body veil, known as a niqab or burqa. It erases women from society and has nothing to do with Islam but everything to do with the hatred for women at the heart of the extremist ideology that preaches it.

We must not sacrifice women at the altar of political correctness or in the name of fighting a growingly powerful right wing that Muslims face in countries where they live as a minority.

As disagreeable as I often find French President Nicolas Sarkozy, he was right when he said recently, “The burqa is not a religious sign, it is a sign of the subjugation, of the submission of women. I want to say solemnly that it will not be welcome on our territory.” It should not be welcome anywhere, I would add.

Yet his words have inspired attempts to defend the indefensible — the erasure of women.

Some have argued that Sarkozy’s right-leaning, anti-Muslim bias was behind his opposition to the burqa. But I would remind them of comments in 2006 by the then-British House of Commons leader Jack Straw, who said the burqa prevents communication. He was right, and he was hardly a right-winger — and yet he too was attacked for daring to speak out against the burqa.

The racism and discrimination that Muslim minorities face in many countries — such as France, which has the largest Muslim community in Europe, and Britain, where two members of the xenophobic British National Party were shamefully elected to the European Parliament — are very real.

But the best way to support Muslim women would be to say we oppose both racist Islamophobes and the burqa. We’ve been silent on too many things out of fear we’ll arm the right wing ....

More: Video: Syrian Women Burn Burqas to Celebrate Freedom From ISIS ... Why feminists should oppose the burqa

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Batman v Superman

Last night's movie rental was Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ...

a 2016 American superhero film featuring the DC Comics characters Batman and Superman. Directed by Zack Snyder and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, the film is a follow-up to 2013's Man of Steel and is the second installment in the DC Extended Universe. It was written by Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer, and features an ensemble cast that includes Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Jeremy Irons, Holly Hunter and Gal Gadot .... In the film, criminal mastermind Lex Luthor manipulates Batman into a preemptive battle with Superman, whom Luthor is obsessed with defeating.

When I was a comic-reading kid, I mostly read Marvel comics, but I did dip my toe into the DC world to read Superman (but not Batman) so I know all about him and his story. That, and the fact that I'd seen some of the earlier Batman movies, at least made the plot of this film somewhat understandable. But if you haven't been a fan, the film may seem disjointed and opaque. Here are the basics ...

Superman: An alien from the planet Krypton, was sent as a baby in a space ship to Earth by his father because his planet was exploding. He was found and raised by Kansas farmers, Ma and Pa Kent, and grew to have super powers and could only be harmed by meteorites from his home planet. They taught him to use his powers for the common good but to keep his identity secret. He eventually moved to the big city and became a newspaper reporter, Clark Kent, and fell in love with reporter Lois Lane. He gains Batman's ire when, in fighting a super-powered criminal who also escaped Krypton's destruction, there are a lot of civilian casualties.

Batman: The son of wealthy parents who were killed before his eyes in a robbery gone bad, Bruce Wayne grew up needing serious therapy, but all he got was the friendship of his butler Alfred, oh, and a ton of money. He had a bat cave experience at a young age and eventually creates his own underground bat cave, sanctum, lab, where he hangs out with Alfred in a quest to deter crimes like the one that killed his parents. He too keeps his super hero identity secret, and by day is a Tony Stark sort of guy ... billionaire playboy philanthropist.

So, Batman and Superman are set against each other by Lex Luthor, who cooks up false and evil scenarios about each to fool the other. This is mostly dismissed by Superman, but it just feed Batman's already existing paranoia (like I said, therapy needed) and much fighting ensues. Eventually they realize the truth and together, with Wonder Woman, confront and defeat a monster created by Luthor. Superman sacrifices himself to save the world, and there's a very 'Jesus being lifted down from the cross' scene after his death.

But is he really dead? The very last scene gives us reason to think otherwise. And meanwhile, Bruce Wayne/Batman, repentant about going off the deep end, vows, with Wonder Woman's help, to find other super beings and unite them in an organization to keep the Earth safe from a future threat. Here's a clip showing him trying to recruit Aquaman (Jason Momoa of Stargate Atlantis!) and Barry Allen (the Flash) ...

Here are a couple of reviews ... There’s a lot to be worried about': a comics geek's verdict on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ... and ... The fanboy review: ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ is flawed yet fearless

I hadn't expected to like the movie much, but it grew on me as it went along and I must say, they did a good job with Wonder Woman (played by Israeli actress, Gal Gadot). I'm actually looking forward to the next installment. Maybe I'll even go back and watch Man of Steel :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Burkinis, again.

A couple of days ago I had a post about the burkini issue in the news ... Burkini beach brawl leads third French city in a week to ban the swimsuit for Muslim women

Pretty much every story I saw in the news about it was of the same opinion - that it was wrong of the French towns to ban women from wearing the burqaa-like swimsuit, and that the law restricting what women could wear was sexism.

I had the opposite opinion, though. I believe that the wearing by women (and only women) of the burkini is itself what's sexist and oppressive. I found it upsetting that so many articles and posts were on the side of restrictive garment-wearing for women. I kept re-writing my post over and over, trying to make my point, and I finally got frustrated and deleted it. But I'll try again to briefly explain my reasoning.

Arguments have been made that wearing a burkini is no more repressive than wearing a wetsuit. Not true. A wetsuit is worn by both men and women and is chosen for a specific purpose, like protection for surfing in cold water. But the burkini is only worn by women and only worn for one purpose - covering up said women. And if wearing a wetsuit is so sweet ... can you imagine being expected to wear one every single time you went to the beach, no matter what you were doing, no matter what the weather, simply because you were a certain gender? That's the byrkini situation.

Another argument is that women *want* to wear the burkini because they are modest and don't want to wear skimpy bikinis. To present the clothing choices for the beach as only the burkini or the bikini is to present a false dichotomy. If someone wants to cover up a bit at the beach, they're options are many: one piece swimsuit, tank top, t shirt, long-sleeved shirt, shorts, skirt, pedal-pushers, slacks, etc. But the burkini isn't a modest clothing choice, it's a required and standardized uniform.

The banning has been criticized as imposing unfairness, but I think it's the democratic state's duty to try to make laws that preserve the most fairness for all in a pluralistic society - and all citizens, including burkini fans, have a part in that through their votes.

But coherence doesn't seem to matter in the burkini argument, and the badness of sexism apparently pales in comparison to the badness of being thought of as a cultural bigot. As a feminist, I find that incredibly depressing. The thing is, it's not just western feminists who might look askance at coerced dress codes in other cultures .... it is the women themselves in those other cultures who are trying to change things, but they are shouted down by conservatives. Here are a couple of stories about two reporters, Asra Nomani (her comment on the burkini) and Hala Arafa, who don't want to have their clothing choices dictated ..... As Muslim women, we actually ask you not to wear the hijab in the name of interfaith solidarity ... and ... The Case Against Wearing Hijab To Support Muslim Women

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Thomas Reese SJ: ordain women

Jesuit Thomas Reese has an article at NCR about women being deacons - he opines that women should be able to be priests in the church as well. One will recall that Fr. Reese had been an editor at America magazine until he was forced to quit for being too open-minded.

Here's a bit of his article about women as deacons and priests: Women deacons? Yes. Deacons? Maybe ...

When I was asked by a reporter last week whether I favored women deacons, I hesitated and finally responded, “If there are male deacons, there should be female deacons.” .... frankly, even if there were not women deacons in the past, I would still argue for ordaining women deacons today, just as I would argue for ordaining women priests. True, Jesus did not pick any women for the Twelve Apostles, but he did not pick any gentiles either. We would really have a priest shortage today if the priesthood was limited to Jewish Christians.

The church today does many things that Jesus and the early Christians did not do. For example, they would not recognize the Eucharist as we celebrate it today, nor would they understand why we are doing it in churches rather than in homes, and they would be appalled by all the statues (idols) in our churches ....

Even today, the Catholic church has a difficult time dealing with change. During the last two papacies, all discussion of serious change was suppressed. Today, the window closed after the Second Vatican Council has been reopened. This does not mean that every new proposal should be accepted, but it does mean that we should be open to serious conversation and debate on change in the church, especially on the role of women in the church ...

And here's the beginning of a 2005 article about his ouster from America magazine: Editor of Jesuits' America magazine forced to resign under Vatican pressure ...

Jesuit Fr. Thomas J. Reese, editor for the past seven years of America magazine, a premier publication of Catholic thought and opinion, has resigned at the request of his order following years of pressure for his ouster from the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The resignation caps five years of tensions and exchanges among the congregation, which was headed at the time by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, the Jesuits and Reese, according to sources close to the magazine who asked not to be identified.

A release from the magazine May 6, which did not mention the forced ouster, announced that the new editor is Jesuit Fr. Drew Christiansen, who has served as associate editor.

Ironically, Reese received the news that the Jesuits found the debate "unwinnable," according to one source, when he returned to the magazine's New York headquarters from Rome, where he had covered the conclave that elected Ratzinger as pope.

Contacted on background, a Vatican official said he could not discuss the case.

Over the course of a five-year exchange between the doctrinal congregation and the Jesuits, the Vatican congregation had raised objections to various editorial choices at America under Reese's leadership, including:

- An essay exploring moral arguments for the approval of condoms in the context of HIV/AIDS;
- Several critical analyses of the doctrinal congregation's September 2000 document Dominus Iesus, on religious pluralism;
- An editorial criticizing what America called a lack of due process in the congregation's procedures for the investigation of theologians;
- An essay about homosexual priests;
- A guest essay from U.S. Rep. David Obey of Wisconsin, challenging suggestions that the church should refuse Communion to Catholic politicians who do not vote as a number of bishops believe they should vote.

In every instance, however, the pieces represented just a portion of coverage of the subject in America, which always published opposing points of view.

According to one source, the communication about Reese's fate was carried on between the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the superior general of the Jesuits, Dutch Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, with the content then relayed to Reese's Jesuit superiors in the United States ......

Friday, August 12, 2016

The new kitten

Here he or she is, trying to decide if I'm scary or not ....

The mother cat and her other baby haven't been here for a few days. I'm trying to work up my courage to call the vet and ask if they can take another kitten and try to find a home for him/her. They require a donation, but if I take him/her to the SPCA, that also requires a donation, plus there's a probability the kitten will be euthanized. I know the vet will keep the kitten until a home is found, and if it doesn't work out, she will take the kitten back - they have an adult cat that lives at the vet office, Possum, who was a kitten someone gave back to them after adoption. So, that's my tentative plan. Meanwhile, I get to watch a kitten :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2016


- Teacher Out at Fordham Prep After School Says ’84 Sexual Abuse Claim Is Credible

- Karl-Heinz Menke, Commission Member, on the Impossibility of Sacramental Ordination of Women

- New from the Pew Forum: A majority of voters support a bill that would require Medicaid to cover all pregnancy-related care, including abortion ... Hyde Amendment is bad policy (and unpopular too!)

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

"Our Revolution"

You would think that now that the Democratic party has a nominee, all Democrats would be concentrating on the upcoming general election that might be won by Trump. Not Bernie Sanders (but then, he's not so much a Democrat, I guess). I received an email from his campaign today (does he still have a campaign?) asking me for money so that "Our Revolution" can defeat Debbie Wasserman Schultz ...

Many of you already know that I've endorsed a candidate, Tim Canova, who is challenging the former head of the Democratic Party Debbie Wasserman Schultz in Florida. This race is very important for Our Revolution because if we can win this tough fight in Florida, it will send a clear message about the power of our grassroots movement that will send shockwaves through the political and media establishments.


The recent emails leaked from Democratic Party staff showed that under Debbie Wasserman Schultz, DNC staff were not exactly fair and even-minded during the presidential primary. What was revealed wasn't much of a shock to us, because we knew all along that the establishment wasn't on our side.

But now that Debbie Wasserman Schultz has resigned we have the opportunity to transform the Democratic Party and open up its doors to working people and young people — people who want real change. Democrats must make it crystal clear that their party is prepared to take on Wall Street and the powerful corporate interests whose greed is doing so much harm to our country. We must stand with Americans who are working longer hours for lower wages, the uninsured, students leaving school deeply in debt and all those worried about climate change ...

Jeez, Bernie, just let it go.

Monday, August 08, 2016

What I've been reading lately

A few weeks ago when I was desperate for something to read and I couldn't find anything at the library, I broke down and bought the first book in a series based on the science fiction show, Stargate Atlantis. I really liked the show, and have posted about it a few times ... Rising ... The Kindred episodes ... Ronon Dex ... Hee Hee :)

The books: Stargate Atlantis: Legacy series. There are eight in all and I've just finished the third, Allegiance ...

If you liked the tv series, you may well like the series of novels as well.

Sunday, August 07, 2016

"Don't Speak"

Another Carpool Karaoke from the past. Gwen Stefani's been in the news lately and her song, Don't Speak, has been in my head. If you keep watching you'll see George Clooney and Sandra Bullock as well :) ...

Here's the whole song with lyrics ...

Friday, August 05, 2016


- President Barack Obama Says, "This Is What a Feminist Looks Like"

- The deacons commission: a grand jury to nowhere?

- Pope Francis Claims Schools Are Conspiring to Teach Kids to Be Transgender

- Majority of Americans Support Legal Late-Term Abortions for Zika-Related Birth Defects

- President Obama should pardon Edward Snowden before leaving office

- Kate McKinnon Talking About Her Cat :) ...

- The Beatles’ ‘Revolver’ Turns 50: A Psychedelic Masterpiece That Rewrote the Rules of Rock. The song I liked from that album ...

Wednesday, August 03, 2016


Last week I wrote about how I had finally gotten Mouse altered at the vet. He was #9 of the nine cats living in my yard that needed to be spayed or neutered. At last I thought I saw the light at the end of the cat tunnel. But now the cat who showed up last summer with kittens (Hansel and Gretel and another) has returned with two more kittens ...

I think I'm cursed ;)

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

The return of The X-Files: 2016

- my autographed postcard of David Duchovny :)

This week's DVD rental is The X-Files (season 10) ...

The tenth season of the American science fiction television series The X-Files commenced airing in the United States on January 24, 2016, on Fox. The season consists of six episodes .... The season takes place fourteen years after the ninth season, which concluded airing in May 2002, and seven years after the film The X-Files: I Want to Believe (2008).

So, a sort of miniseries that picks up fourteen years after the original ended. I've only watched two of the episodes so far, but it appears that Mulder and Scully, both no longer with the FBI, have broken off their romantic relationship, Scully going back to being a doctor and Mulder apparently at loose ends. They re-unite when FBI director and friend Walter Skinner asks them to come back to their jobs and to the X-Files at the FBI to work on a case.

I loved the original series and it was fun to see the X-Files characters again. Scully seems a bit embalmed but Skinner appears almost the same and Mulder still has his dogged determination to find the truth. Here are a couple of reviews ... Return of “The X-Files” Stumbles But Quickly Recovers ... The X-Files, first look review: A fresh take on this classic really is out there

And here's a trailer ...

Truthiness and the Pope's commission on women deacons

In the news: Vatican Announces Commission on Women Deacons

Here's the prevalent truthiness version of this news: "our progressive reforming pope, wanting women to have equal opportunities in the church, has come up with the idea of a commission to study women now being deacons". Who doesn't like this warm and fuzzy view of reality? But it doesn't correspond with the facts.

It's not just me who sees this - here's the beginning of an article at National Catholic Reporter from May: It's time to be honest about Pope Francis and women ...

Several years ago, I asked in this column, "When does our hope for Pope Francis become denial?"

After last week's frenzy over women deacons, I believe I may have found my answer.

The glimmer of hope came, of course, when Francis agreed to launch a commission to study the role of women deacons in the early church. The idea of a commission was suggested to the pope by a group of women religious during their annual International Union of Superiors General (UISG) meeting.

Hours later, just about everyone saw some version of a headline declaring that the pope was considering ordaining women deacons.

Unfortunately, few people had the time to read the full story behind the headline. And even fewer people had time to read Francis' complete response to the sisters' question about women deacons. (You can find it here in Italian and English.) If they had, they would have heard the pope reassert all of the theological ideas that prevent women from any form of equality in the Roman Catholic church ....

So what then *are* the facts of this situation? For those who don't have time to read that whole article from NCR, let me enumerate them ....

1) The idea of women being deacons has surfaced now and then over the last few years, and none of these instances had to do with the pope ...

In February of 2013, Cardinal Kasper said that maybe women could be deacons ...

Cardinal Walter Kasper suggested a new “diaconal” office for women at the recent spring assembly of the German bishops’ conference, German media are reporting. His proposal is for a “community deaconess” who would carry out pastoral, charitable, catechetic, and specific liturgical roles. This would be distinct from the office of male deacons, to be commissioned by a blessing rather than sacramental ordination ...

And a few months later there was an update on the issue from The Tablet ...

The president of Germany's bishops' conference has called for the creation of a new, specific office for women deacons .... But a spokesman for Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich, whom Pope Francis has appointed cardinal-adviser for Europe, said ordaining women deacons was "not on the agenda". And Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer of Regensburg said the office of deacon was inseparably bound to that of priest and bishop and the sacrament of ordination, and the "tradition that only men can be ordained is based on the Bible".

So, women *might* get to be deacons someday (or not) but if they do get to, they won't be deacons in the normal sense of the word, they won't be the kind of deacons that men are (ordained).

Nothing more was said of women deacons until October of 2015, during the synod of the family, when Canadian Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher made a suggestion that women could be deacons ...

"I think we should really start looking seriously at the possibility of ordaining women deacons because the diaconate in the church's tradition has been defined as not being ordered toward priesthood but toward ministry."

What was the response to his limited suggestion? The idea went nowhere, of course, and this comment was made at the press briefing for Day 8 of the synod by Vatican Radio (audio version) ...

On the question of the ordination of women to the deaconate, Abbot Schröder said that it was a single proposal by an isolated voice that did not seem to be important in the room.

2) The idea of a commission to study women as deacons wasn't the pope's idea but the idea of women religious ...

During a meeting between the pope and some women religious, he was asked what prevents the church from including women among the permanent deacons, just like during the early church. And then the women religious proposed that there would be a commission. He [the pope] accepted that proposal and has said that he would bring that forward (link).

3) The commission is not studying the possibility of women now being deacons in the church, but the commission is only to study what the role of women deacons was back in the early church ...

The head of the Vatican’s doctrine office is suggesting little new will come from a study commissioned by Pope Francis into the role of women deacons, according to Associated Press. Cardinal Gerhard Muller says the Vatican is putting together a list of experts for the study. But he says the focus will be historic in nature, studying the role of women deacons in the early church, and that regardless a comprehensive study was completed in 2002. That study found that female deacons of the early Church cannot be compared to the ordained male diaconate of today ... (Vatican doctrine chief downplays expectations over women deacons)

4) The pope has never wanted women to have equal opportunities in the church, never wanted them to be ordained ....

One of the reasons church guys haven't wanted women to be deacons is the "ordained" slippery slope thing .... if you let women be ordained in the church as deacons, if you accept the idea that women can be ordained, then you will have no good excuse to not ordain them as priests too ...

The doctrine of the Catholic Church on the ordination of women, as expressed in the current Code of Canon Law and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, is that "Only a baptized man (Latin: vir) validly receives sacred ordination." The Catholic Church teaches that this requirement is a matter of divine law and thus doctrinal. The question of whether only males can receive ordination to the diaconate has not been definitively ruled out by a document of the Magisterium (i.e., the pope, the Roman Curia, and the bishops), although it is considered that there is a fundamental unity between deacons, priests, and bishops in the single sacrament of Holy Orders, which is currently interpreted to mean that women cannot validly be ordained as deacons. (Wikipedia)

And if there's one thing the pope has made clear, it is that he does *not* want women to be priests in his church ...

- Pope Francis reaffirms ban on women’s ordination
- Pope Francis, women and 'chauvinism with skirts'