Historical, liturgical and theological arguments make it impossible to uphold the legitimacy of a female diaconate as part of the ordained clergy.
In my nineteenth year I was admitted to the diaconate, in my thirtieth to the priesthood, both by the hands of the most reverend Bishop John (of Hexham), and at the bidding of Abbot Ceolfrid.
This ancient idea of the diaconate, ignored in the Roman Pontifical, has been restored in the English ordinal.
The minor orders, and even the subdiaconate and diaconate, are now regarded as no more than steps to the priesthood.
Some account has been already given of scholastic opinion on presbyteral ordination to the diaconate and even to the priesthood.