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 Post subject: Are Deacons "Optional?"
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 12:06 am 
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About two years ago someone told me that permanent deacons serve at the will of the bishop, and that some bishops will not allow permanent deacons to practice their ministry within the diocese.

One permanent deacon was considering relocation to a diocese that didn't welcome deacons. His only alternative was to accept employment in the diocese that didn't welcome deacons and reside about fifteen miles away in a diocese where deacons were welcome.

It seems strange to me that a validly ordained Catholic deacon who had to relocate for employment reasons might find himself unable to continue ministering in his vocation because of the whim of a bishop.

Have any of you heard of this?


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 1:04 am 
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Never heard of a bishop not permitting deacons to serve, especially with the shortage of priests and religious now days. I'm curious as to which diocese this is. The perminant deacon was brought back from banishment by the Vatican I coucil but was largely ignored until Vatican II called for an increase in perminant deacons.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 1:10 am 
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My diocese is one typical example. His Grace does not permit permanent deacons for some reason. I never got to find out why.

In fact, I heard that the seminarians will be ordained deacons this year, and will be ordained to the priesthood this same year too. I don't know how credible that is, but it's what was told me.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 8:12 am 
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it is true that they serve at the will of the Bishop...and that their vow of obedience is to him... as a permanent deacon, you are obligated to serve the Bishop until age 70... at that time, you may still continue your ministry, but then your "allegiance" is transferred to the priest at the parish where you serve...

why a bishop would not want as many deacons as he could get in his diocese is beyond me :?

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 10:27 am 
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That is true. A Bishop is under no obligation to ordain deacons within their diocese.

And they serve at the pleasure of the Bishop. An interesting question arises, though, when a deacon relocates to such a diocese.

They serve at the pleasure of the Bishop, but the GIRM mandates that the Gospel be read by a Deacon, if one is present.

That is not something an Ordinary can overrule, without banning the deacon from attending Mass.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 10:29 am 
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Kenny wrote:
In fact, I heard that the seminarians will be ordained deacons this year, and will be ordained to the priesthood this same year too. I don't know how credible that is, but it's what was told me.


Canon Law specifies that one must be a Deacon for at least 6 months prior to Ordination to the Presbyteriate.

So if Diaconal Ordination of a seminarian is done in March, and the Priestly Ordination is done in Oct, or something along those lines, it is perfectly acceptable.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 11:37 am 
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I'm pretty sure the two dioceses I was told about were Springfield, Missouri and one near Wichita, Kansas.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 11:48 am 
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allegro54 wrote:
I'm pretty sure the two dioceses I was told about were Springfield, Missouri and one near Wichita, Kansas.


I was on a business trip to Kansas City, KS last summer. I was in a discussion with a person after a morning mass and I mentioned I was in formation to the diaconate.

They replied that the Archdiocese of Kansas City does not ordain Permanent Deacons, so that might be another diocese.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 10:02 pm 
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The bishop is the leader of the diocese and may make a judgment that the permanent diaconate should or should not be instituted or retained in his diocese. Obviously, one of the arguments in favor of permanent deacons is that they do pastoral work. However, in the opinion of some bishops, the permanent deacon's role is problematic, for the following reasons. First, most do not work for the Church, and this means that the Church has comparatively little practical control over them. Second, most permanent deacons assist at liturgy, but have not engaged in the major work of the diaconate, which is charitable service. Third, the formation and education programs for permanent diaconate leave a lot to be desired. There has until now not been a uniform and consistent training program, and deacons are often not competent to do the things they find themselves doing, such as preaching.



Recently, the Vatican has approved new norms for the recruitment, formation and education of permanent deacons. In view of this, there are some dioceses that had not ordained permanent deacons in many years that will now plan to do so.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2005 8:31 am 
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matteo d'basio wrote:
There has until now not been a uniform and consistent training program, and deacons are often not competent to do the things they find themselves doing, such as preaching.


Here in the Archdiocese of Detroit, we go through the exact same Homiletics classes and practica the seminarians do.




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Recently, the Vatican has approved new norms for the recruitment, formation and education of permanent deacons. In view of this, there are some dioceses that had not ordained permanent deacons in many years that will now plan to do so.



Here it is Link Here if anyone is particularly interested, or particularly short of sleep.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2005 8:35 am 
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gee thanks brendan...now you're gonna make me have to take a look.... it was a whole lot easier just to accept what was said :P

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2005 8:38 am 
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Our Lady's Gladiator
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oops...never mind...187 pages of pdf format is not something i need just to satisfy my own curiousity... i'll just accept what was said in my meeting...easier that way :wink:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2005 9:00 am 
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In the places where I have lived, both prospective deacons and their wives attended theology classes, which were usually held one weekend a month for several years.

Younger deacons have had careers, and older deacons have sometimes taken on retirement jobs such as parish administrator to allow the priest to concentrate more on his sacramental duties.

Most have been actively involved in church ministries and have focused on particular aspects such as youth, RCIA, Hispanic, etc.

Now is probably the time to evaluate what has been done across the country and the world to see what works and what doesn't and to establish some uniformity.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2005 10:26 am 
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faithfulservant wrote:
oops...never mind...187 pages of pdf format is :wink:


Did you expect anything less from the USCCB ::):

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