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Theological Commission to mull nature of diaconate

The question of the diaconate is on the agenda at this week's plenary session of the International Theological Commission at the Vatican.

Catholic World News reports that Fr George Cottier, theologian of the papal household and secretary-general of the Commission, will direct about 30 theologians brought together for this session who will first discuss a "working document" of 78 pages concerning the diaconate.

During the two preceding plenary sessions of the commission, they had already considered two documents on this subject. Since then, a new document was prepared from their observations, thanks to the work of a sub- commission chaired by the Father Henrique de Noronha Galvao.

The question of the diaconate is currently on the agenda because the Second Vatican Council, in its constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, did not explicitly define the "degree of authority" for its sacramental character.

During this plenary session, the International Theological Commission will also treat the topic of Revelation and Inculturation, for which another sub-commission, chaired this time by the Jesuit Mario de Franca Miranda, prepared a working document.