Theological Commission Studying Diaconate and Inculturation

Document Expected on Question of Deaconesses

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 3, 2001 ( A gathering of the International Theological Commission opened here today, an event will help the cream of Catholic theologians prepare a document that touches on the issue of deaconesses.

The working sessions are presided over by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, president of the commission and prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Father Georges Cottier, secretary-general of the commission, is the moderator of the sessions, which run through Friday.

The theologians are preparing their document in response to a request of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

In this connection, a subcommission presided over by Henrique de Noronha Galvâo presented a 78-page working document referring to the observations made in the last plenary session of the panel.

Another topic being debated this week is "Revelation and Inculturation." A subcommission presided over by Father Mario de Franca Miranda has presented a 61-page working document.

The assembly also will discuss the preparatory reports of the subcommission presided over by Father Joseph Augustine Di Noia that address the topic "Creation of Man."

Paul VI created the International Theological Commission in 1969 to assist the Holy See in the examination of important doctrinal questions.

The commission comprises a maximum of 30 theologians who are outstanding for scientific rigor and fidelity to the magisterium. They are appointed by the Pope for a five-year period.