This is an outright lie. The cardinal knows full well that there were never ordained deaconesses in the early Church. So, why is he saying that women could be ordained into “the first degree” of the sacrament of Orders? This is not a slip of ignorance. He is a prince of the Church, not a ignoramus. So, again, the question: Why is he deliberately affirming a lie?
1Peter5, Maike Hickson: The Austrian cardinal just gave an interview to an Austrian TV channel in which he now claims that the ordination of female priests is not permissible. However, women might somehow still be admitted to the first stage of sacramental ordination: namely, the diaconate.
Speaking (at minute 34) with a journalist from the TV channel oe24.at on 18 June, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna, Austria says that “what is right now being considered is the diaconate, that is the first degree of ordination” when asked whether, in the future, there will be female priests. The prelate thereby affirms that he thinks of a sacramental ordination of female deacons. “There have been female deacons in earlier centuries, and that could also be again reintroduced,” he explains. More here.