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Rubrics Question QUESTION from Deacon Larry Lottier , February 12, 2000
Dear John I noticed that Anon had a question about the COB and any changes since the document on ... the non-ordained faithful. It could be his concern comes from the fact that many of the faithful do not realize that we deacons are indeed ordained members of the clergy. We often get referred to as lay deacons which only adds to the confusion. Continued blessings on your work, Deacon Larry Lottier ANSWER by Mr. John Miskell on Saturday, February 12, 2000
Dear Deacon Lottier, Thank you for bringing that up. After re-reading Anon’s question, I see what you mean. Deacons are ordained members of the clergy and have received a Sacrament of Holy Orders. Their ordination allows them to preach at Mass and along with the priest and bishop they are among the ordinary ministers of the Eucharist. The bishop of a diocese can give deacons the faculties to officiate at Catholic funerals, weddings and baptisms. Perhaps what confuses many is that the deaconate is open to married men and that after ordination these men continue to live and work in the community. What many people don’t realize is the Catholic Church has always had a married priesthood. All of the Eastern rites in Communion with Rome allow married priests and deacons provided that they are already married prior to their ordination. If their spouse dies they are not allowed to re-marry. This is the same arrangement for deacons in the Latin (Roman) Rite to which most of us American and Canadian Catholics belong. And incidentally, having a married clergy has never been a solution for increasing vocations. The Eastern rites struggle just as hard as the Western Church in recruiting good candidates for the priesthood. I’m personally not fond of the terms permanent deacon and transitional deacon. Granted the overwhelming majority of the married men ordained to the permanent deaconate do not go on to become priests but there are some, who after the death of their spouse have been ordained priests. In the same way the overwhelming majority of priests do not become bishops yet we don’t call them permanent priests do we? Just a pet peeve. A little deacon trivia. Saint Francis of Assisi was an ordained deacon. He didn’t want to be a priest but he sought ordination to the deaconate so he would be allowed to preach. God bless you Deacon Larry. Thank you for saying yes when you heard Jesus calling you to His service. You servant in Christ, John Miskell Back to Index Page

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