Donna Rougeux's commentary is factually flawed. I'll address the most glaring errors.
The first lapse in the facts is her assertion that she can participate in a simulation of the Sacrament of Holy Orders, in this case, ordination to the diaconate, and remain in communion with the Roman Catholic Church.
By participating in this simulation of the Sacrament of Holy Orders, Rougeux has incurred automatic excommunication. That is to say, by her own choice and action, she, regrettably, has removed herself from full communion with the Roman Catholic Church.
The second non-fact Rougeux asserts is that, by participating in this simulation of the Sacrament of Holy Orders, she will be admitted to the order of the diaconate.
Perhaps if she professed one of the Christian traditions that ordains women to the diaconate, this would be so — in that specific tradition, but not in the Roman Catholic Church.
In Roman Catholic theology, Holy Orders is one of three sacraments — along with baptism and confirmation — that places an indelible mark on the recipient's soul. This divine mark cannot be obtained through a simulation.
The Roman Catholic Church does not ordain women to either the diaconate or the priesthood. This is not sexist. As Pope John Paul II pointed out in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, if the church is faithfully to follow the example of Jesus, who chose twelve men as his first priests/bishops, then the Roman Catholic Church is not "free" to ordain women.
The logical underpinning of these twin pillars of fidelity and freedom are crucial. Christians believe that Jesus is God Incarnate, completely God and completely man. The very essence of "God-ness," if you will, is intentionality: God makes no errors, leaves nothing to happenstance, does everything for a reason.
How many times have we heard people say, "God has a plan?" If Jesus chose 12 men by accident or because he bowed to the gender roles of his time (Jesus is free from sin, including the sin of sexism), then Christendom would have to admit that the Almighty can be manipulated by human culture or, most horrifying, that God makes errors that human beings have the power to correct through our actions.
If this were to be true, then it would not be hyperbole to say that there is no discernible order to the universe, and believers of the three great monotheistic religions are left with a flawed, and possibly trickster, god.
The maleness of the church's ordained ministers is no accident either. One cannot ignore the clear nuptial image that is intended by Christ. Christ the priest (represented by the office of priest and bishop) and Christ the servant (represented by the office of deacon) signify the bridegroom who is joined in a permanent, life-giving, and faithful union with His bride, the church.
These facts about the Roman Catholic faith are very public, though, perhaps, not well-known.
The Herald-Leader does a disservice to its readership by echoing falsehoods (that is to say, unverified assertions of fact) under the guise of opinion.