The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench


Pope issues Motu Proprio on deacons — UPDATED

posted by jmcgee

The Vatican issued a Motu Proprio yesterday — and part of it dealt with the diaconate.

From Catholic News Agency:

According to J.D. Flynn, a canon lawyer for the Archdiocese of Denver, the new document clarifies the nature of a deacon’s orders and the impact of defections from Catholicism on the validity of a marriage.

“Omnium in Mentum,” roughly translated as “Everything in Mind,” deals with two unrelated topics, a fact that caused Flynn to observe that it’s probably easier to publish one Motu Propio than two.

Writing in an explanatory note for the Motu Proprio, Archbishop Francesco Coccopalmerio, president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, commented on the modified canons (1008, 1009, 1086, 1117 and 1124). These variations, he said, “concern two separate questions: adapting the text of the canons that define the ministerial function of deacons … and suppressing a subordinate clause in three canons concerning marriage, which experience has shown to be inappropriate.”

The first issue addressed by the Motu Propio is the role of the diaconate.

Part of the current canon “describes sacred orders as participating in the headship of Christ,” Flynn explained. “The Motu Proprio clarifies that priests and bishops participate in the headship of Christ ‘in persona Christi,’ whereas deacons serve the Church, the people of God, through the ministry, services, or ‘diaconias’ of liturgy, word, and charity.” Thus, Flynn said, the document emphasizes that there is a “clear distinction between the diaconate and the presbyterate.”

“The distinction is between the deacon who acts “in imago Dei” and the priest who acts ‘in persona Christi,’” Flynn explained.

What this means in layman’s terms is that “we see the diaconate as a unique ministry unto itself and not simply a step along the way to the priesthood,” he added.

Read the link for the rest.

Meantime, canon lawyer Ed Peters had this to say on his blog:

Now, about the first change announced today, that dealing with the description of deacons under canon law (cc. 1108-1109), it is really interesting, obviously, and I need time to study it. The language here obviously does not seem to underscore the unity that permeates the three level of holy orders, but (per Abp. Francesco Coccopalmerio of the Text Council) it is more consistent with the language of CCC 1581, as it was revised in 1998. In any case, I’ll certainly be consulting the auctores probati on this one.

Stay tuned.

UPDATE: A short time ago, I got an e-mail from uber-deacon William Ditewig, who offered this commentary on the document — including the intriguing suggestion that it could crack open the door to women deacons:

From my non-canonical perspective, it seems that what is happening with this motu proprio is that the teaching of the Catechism is now being translated into the law itself. It was major point of my own doctoral dissertation that the theological and canonical language developed to described ordained ministry over the last millennium or so has really been language related to the sacerdotal orders of bishop and presbyter, and since there were no “permanent” deacons of theological significance, to apply such language (such as “in persona Christi”, or to refer to “sacra potestas” (sacred power)) can be problematic when applied uncritically to the diaconate; that since we are NOT sacerdotal, a specifically diaconal theological language should be explored and developed. It seems to me that the kinds of distinctions being offered, first in the Catechism and now in the law itself, will ultimately help in this process.

The problem, of course, is that this is rather new territory and the language being used does not have a long history of interpretation like the sacerdotal terms have. The classic problem, which the International Theological Commission attempted to describe, is between seeing the overall UNITY of the three orders of ordained ministry (how we are all united in a single sacrament of Holy Order), as well as recognizing the very real distinctions between them at the same time. Bishops, for example, are MORE than just presbyters who have been given greater jurisdiction; it has a sacramental identity in its own right. This was a major development at the Second Vatican Council. And, of course, deacons are not priests: we never serve — and cannot serve — in offices that require priesthood: diocesan bishop, for example, or pastor, or judicial vicar. With the renewal of a permanent diaconate at Vatican II, the millennium-long paradigm of “ordination-means-priesthood” was broken. We’re now trying to describe and define what that change actually means.

I’ve already had several e-mails from people suggesting that perhaps this opens the door to ordaining women as deacons. Certainly this becomes much more imaginable if the church adopts a more “each-order-is distinct” approach over the “all-orders-are-essentially-one” approach. Of course, as with most (all?) Catholic theology, we generally adopt a “both-and” approach: there is both unity AND diversity within the relationships of Orders. Whether this means that we might open the door to ordaining women as deacons (because deacons are not priests) remains to be seen.



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Paul

posted December 16, 2009 at 11:06 am


Let’s hope this shift in focus on the diaconate as “head of the ministries” does not lead to a “de-emphasis” of the Order. Many in this country who still resist the presence of deacons could it this, however wrongly, as ammunition.



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Dcn Luis D.

posted December 16, 2009 at 11:36 am


I would think that if they really wanted to put some distance between the order of deacons and the presbyterate perhaps using the diaconate as a transition to the priesthood should be eliminated.
I surprise my pastor on occasion by reminding him that he is a deacon as well and ordained to service. Does the ordination to the priesthood make the ordination to the diaconate null and void?
[Short answer, of course, is no. A bishop is still a deacon, as well -- and it's not uncommon for a bishop to wear a dalmatic when ordaining deacons -- Dcn. G.]



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Thomas J. Viggiano, III

posted December 16, 2009 at 11:40 am


It seems me that uber-deacon Ditewig is missing some important ecclesial and juridical history in his reflections, as well as confusing his theology some what. He notes that deacons can not serve as pastors or judicial vicars. However, that is a juridical decision of the Chruch,(subject to change and revision) not an ontological one. Until the issuance of the 1917 Code of Canon Law, deacons could, and indeed did, serve as pastors of parishes and held offices responsible for the care of souls. Until the Council of Trent, deacons served in most of the curial and pastoral positions reserved to priests today including judicial vicar. It was because of the fact that some of the deacons in these positions often grew quite powerful and were, in many cases, protected from episcopal intervention by having a benefice that accompanied their office, that the Council of Trent reserved many of these curial and pastoral positions to members of the priestood – who were more easily controllable by the bishop. Some rather prominent curial Cardinals (up to and including the first half of the 20th century, never advanced beyond the Office of Deacon, yet held great ecclesial and juridical authority. Those who might favor the admission of women to the diaconate should review the theology of Holy Orders, and the tradition of East and West. It is de fide definita that the Sacrament of Holy Orders is reserved to baptised males – there are questions of ontology here, not simply juridical decisions. It seems that this change by Pope Benedict XVI to Canon Law was occassioned more by a growing confusion (and increaasing complaints to the Holy See) where some deacons were invalidly attempting to administer the Sacrament of Annointing of the Sick. The distinction had to be made by Rome that deacons do not enjoy the powers of the priesthood and therefore were incapable of administering this Sacrament because, by its very nature, it involves the sacramental remission of grave sin – an act reserved to those in the priesthood. In conclusion, this clarification should be taken for what it is, a call to rejoice and embrace the unique vocation to the diaconate as a call distinct from that of the priesthood; of Rome clarifing the deacon’s role as more time has elasped since the restoration of the diaconate as a unique ministry and not muddy the waters by vain attempts to see this moto proprio as somehow opening the door to admit women to this leve of the Sacrament of Holy Orders. Remember – the Church teaches that admission to one level implicitly means potential elevation to the other two levels.



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Deacon Patrick

posted December 16, 2009 at 12:14 pm


Mr. Viggiano, it would be good to offer more documentation to your statement: “the Church teaches that admission to one level implicitly means potential elevation to the other two levels.”
My understanding is that Rome has said only males can be ordained priests and has been clear that the question of the diaconate is still under study, no definitive statement has been made. If what you say is the current understanding, then the issue would be closed and no more study would be needed.
I think the recent motu propio helps to clarify that the diaconate is not a part of the priesthood. The bishop and priest act ‘in persona Christi’ after ordination. The diaconate is an ordained ministry but it is rooted in the ecclesial dimension and is ordained to minister to the ecclesial life. This statement makes a clear ontological and sacramental difference between the diaconate and other ordained orders. One that I am afraid most deacons are not clear about and this adds to the confusion of the diaconate identity and the tension it often experiences with priests.



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Deacon Patrick

posted December 16, 2009 at 12:28 pm


One more point ! the ecclesial dimension is clear in the practice of the church. deacons can perform ministries that can also be done by “extraordinary ministers” (but deacons do it as the ordained ordinary minister) but deacons cannot do any of the sacramental ministries the priesthood or a bishop can do. Because they cannot act in persona Christi. any lay person with the proper permission can baptize, preach, preside at wakes and even witness marriages under certain circumstances, they do not need diaconate ordination to do this in an extraordinary situation or circumstances just ecclesial permission. but under no situation can deaconsaa perform or preside at sacramental services that come with priestly ordination.
so as a consequence of this motu proprio ( and for sure not its intention) one can see why the issue of gender is still under study by Rome.



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Deacon Bill

posted December 16, 2009 at 12:29 pm


Dear Thomas,
My original e-mail, which Deacon Greg re-posted above with my permission, was written to a group of people already knowledgable about diaconal theology and history, so there was no need to revisit the historical record. Of course, it is universally well-known that deacons held offices of governance throughout long portions of history. I, and the original audience, also understand the rather outmoded but still utilitarian language of “ontological distinction.”
But those are NOT what is at issue with the new motu proprio. Rather, it is, as I applauded, a further sophistication in the understanding of both the unity and diversity of the Sacrament of Orders. It is working to finally overcoming the rather reductive approach of seeing all orders as participations in a sacerdotalized ordained ministry.
Furthermore, because of the renewal of a permanent diaconate as a sacramental “end” in itself (one not destined for presbyterate), many other questions are raised. For example, your concluding statement that “the Church teaches that admission to one level implicitly means potential elevation to the other two levels” is no longer true. That is NOT what the church teaches any longer.
And ontology is not the sticking point it once was on this; if it were, church authority would clearly have spoken on this issue vis-a-vis diaconate long ago. In fact, on three separate occasions while serving as Cardinal Prefect of the CDF, Cardinal Ratzinger was asked whether the teaching of “Ordinatio Sacerdotalis” was to be applied to the question of the possibility of ordaining women to the diaconate. He consistently replied that it did not, and that this question remained “an open theological question.” He assigned it to the International Theological Commission for their analysis, which remained inconclusive, and to date, no one in authority has definitively ruled on the question. Seems like if it were as simple as you suggest, based on ontology, then all they had to do was say so.
In any case, the growing maturation of theological and now canonical understanding of the diaconate is welcomed. This process can and must continue, and I’m sure there will be continue questioning and development.
By the way, I know of no deacons who were rushing out and simulating the sacrament of anointing of the sick as you suggest in your post. Speaking from my own direct experience of the question while serving at the USCCB from 2002-2007, that was never the catalyst for the question. It was a desire on the part of the bishops to seek clarity from the Holy See about the possibility of using deacons in this capacity in certain emergency circumstances.
God bless,
Bill



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RGB

posted December 16, 2009 at 3:28 pm


An honest and true question, not rethorical or ironic; why does the Church need Deacons? What is the purpose of a division between Deacons and Priests? Why are Deacons ordained? With the increasing role of lay people in the liturgy, are Deacons becoming obsolete?



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deacon Patrick

posted December 16, 2009 at 11:13 pm


RGB, I am surprised no one has given you a response. Especially since many have the question and do not ask it. I think the most simple response it the one the council fathers gave at Vatican ll when they restored the diaconate.
When a person has proven over time that he has the gifts to minister to the community through liturgy, word and service…..it makes sense for both the community nnd the person to confirm him and his gifts through ordination.
That way the community has someone stable and permanent to minister to them and the person is confirmed in a personal vocation to serve a concrete community.
It also strengths the person and his gifts with the sacramental grace of ordination.
Of course laypersons can do many of the ministries that a deacon performs as extraordinary ministers or just regular ministry as in baptismal preparation, teaching, etc. but these as done often as volunteers for a time. Volunteers are more fluid and flexible. And of course they enrich the community with their gifts and talents, but there is more freedom for volunteers to come and go as they have to juggle other commitments.
The ordained ministry of deacons allows the community to have a stable presence who gives his through his ministry for the sake of the community as a life commitment.
This is just one aspect and it sounds good in theory but the working it out in a concrete parish is another story!



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Deacon Greg Kandra

posted December 16, 2009 at 11:55 pm


This page from the USCCB sheds a little light on the restoration of the diaconate, as well.
As for the particulars of deacons, and why they’re ordained: ordination confers special graces (it is a sacrament, remember) and makes certain demands on the one who is ordained. He has to pledge obedience to his bishop (and his successors) and publicly commit to upholding the teachings of the church. There is also a prolonged period of preparation and study involved before ordination; it is a process of formation that takes years.
It is also a distinct calling that needs to be ratified and confirmed by the Church.
It’s a huge commitment of time, energy, prayer, and sacrifice. Especially sacrifice. Increasingly, deacons are being assigned to particular parishes (not necessarily their own) to fulfill specific needs. It’s a little more demanding than just showing up at the 11:30 mass to help give out communion. (Weekend? What weekend? At my parish, I’m at church from 10 to 2 every Sunday, and frequently an hour or two after that, to handle baptisms. On top of that, I have office hours on Saturdays.)
What all this means, in a nutshell, is that there is a level of commitment and, well, vocation to the diaconate that you would not find in a lay volunteer. The deacon is able to step in for a priest under some circumstances, and assist him in particular ministries. He also serves the community in a unique and distinct way, acting as a “bridge” between the clergy and the laity, keeping a foot in both worlds.
It’s more complicated than it may seem.
Dcn. G.



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Dr. Edward Peters

posted December 17, 2009 at 2:44 am


Really excellent discussion here, folks.



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Your Name

posted December 17, 2009 at 9:37 am


With all due respect, Deacon Patrick’s concept of the diaconate explains why so many laity see deacons as little more than laymen with special permissions (the glorified altar boy image).
Dcn. Patrick said: “When a person has proven over time that he has the gifts to minister… it makes sense for both the community nnd the person to confirm him and his gifts through ordination.”
Where in this scenario is the call from Christ to ordained ministry? Dcn. Patrick answered RGB’s sincere question by essentially telling him that diaconal ordinaiton is a reward for good lay service over time given by the community.
This notion of volunteers vs. deacons is absolute and utter nonsense and has no place in the Church’s understanding of the diaconate. A parish could institute any number of initiatives to sure up volunteerism to make it more permanent. What does this have to do with the diaconate? Nothing.
RGB- if you still happen to be reading, know this; deacons are specifically called by Christ to ordained ministry. Yes, that calling is often communicated in the community in some way, but it is Christ who calls. Holy Mother Church must confirm the validity of this calling – it is not enough for a man to “prove himself” worthy. In fact, no man is worthy of Holy Orders. After a formation period of years, the man is ordained in the sacrament of Holy Orders and is thereby configured to Christ in a way that the layman is not. In other words, his title alone doesn’t change via ordination, his identity does. Deacons are not laymen; they are clergymen and members of the sacred hierarchy, configured to Christ in service to the Church in charity, word and liturgy.
Deacon Patrick, if you are still reading, again with all due respect; you would serve yourself and your community well to get your hands around who you are in Christ.
In Christ,
Louie Verrecchio



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deacon Patrick

posted December 17, 2009 at 5:37 pm


Mr. Louie Verrichio, thank you for your contribution to the discussion. I am not sure how helpful it is to make “ad hominem” attacks from reading short posts on the blog.
I am sorry that I was not clear enough for you and I am sure for others to get my point but this is not the place to discuss the theology of diaconate in short com boxes.
But since you threw a few exploding “bombs” my way, let me try to respond to your
comments and I hope you do not take this as personal attack on you.
I think it is clear in the Council documents on the restoration of the diaconate and also in NCCB document on the request for the restoration of the diaconate in the US that the first reason was to “strengthen the many and various diaconal ministries already being done by laymen with the sacramental grace of ordination.” So they were already performing these works as laity, and that is seen as one sign of a call to diaconate.
Of course the call to diaconate is a personal call from Christ, but it is not an individualistic call. From the time of St Paul hearing Christ ask him “why are you persecuting me?” All calls are ecclesial in the church. Because Christ and his church are one, if an ecclesial community calls one through the bishop then it is a call from Christ who is living in his church.
You stated very clearly in your post : “Deacons are not laymen; they are clergymen and members of the sacred hierarchy, configured to Christ in service to the Church in charity, word and liturgy.” I so not see how what I posted disagrees with this, but I was trying to show how it works out in a concrete parish.
The recent motu proprio seems to stress that deacons do not share in the ordination “in persona Christi” but are ordained to minister to the community, and this again highlights the ecclesial nature of the call the ecclesial context that it must be lived out.
I am very happy to hear your responses and learn from you, but please I hope we can keep personal judgments and personal attacks off limits and focus on the actual documents of the church?



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deacon Patrick

posted December 17, 2009 at 5:45 pm


just a quick follow up, of course no one is worthy for ordination, but before every ordination rite and also religious profession, members of the community are needed to verify that the person is worthy to present himself for the ordination. this is not an empty ritual. also no one receives the diaconate as a reward, i do not think i said that, but one must show he has the gifts/charism, has prepared himself for the ministry, before he can be presented to receive the grace and gift of ordination.



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Deacon W. Alan Whitson

posted December 18, 2009 at 12:11 pm


The tone of the discussions have taken an unfortunate ranker. Let us not forget that we are all members of Christ’s Body, The Church. As such we all have responsibilities and the rights to carry them out. Let us deal with each other out of respect for Christ as we through our baptisms belong to Him and His Church.
Those who assert that deacons are not needed as the laity, duly delegated can perform all of the duties any deacon can perform. This is correct on the surface. However, this assertion may be ignoring the ontological and theological realities of the diaconate as an ordained minister. These realities are a result of ordination and Church teaching as a result of Vatican II. They cannot be excluded or ignored when speaking of the clergy.
The individual who stated, quite correctly that a call to the diaconate – or any other order of the clergy – is a call from Christ Himself. This call however, must be discerned by the Church and by the individual. The Church carries out this discernment by examination of the individual by periodic scrutiny, his academic work as well as his interaction with his fellow deacon candidates and other interactions with the public. The individual carries out this discernment through much prayer and through spiritual direction. This is by no means an exhaustive list but does highlight some of the more important areas to be discerned. This discernment can be as long as five years.
This of course is done so that at the time of ordination the representative of the diaconate in a given diocese, to the best of his or her ability can truthfully say to the bishop that he – the candidate – should be ordained.
Volunteers are not required to submit to the same level of examination. They do not take a vow of obedience and are not expected to continue their work as a vocation. This does not at all diminish their contribution or importance to whatever area they have chosen. It simply contrasts the difference between the two areas of commitment.
It is my prayer that we all seek to do the Will of God in all our lives no matter our calling.
In Chris,
Deacon W. Alan Whitson



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Your Name

posted December 18, 2009 at 10:06 pm


Deacon Patrick,
My apologies for being so curt. Of course I don;t really know you and it’s unfair of me to make assumptions based on one post.
That said, if RGB read your reply, took it to heart and never came back, I think it’s fair to say he walked away with a very skewed idea of who deacons are.
General comment: It seems that a great many deacons do in fact have an identity crisis; whether be from deficient formation, a reluctance to appear too “clerical” or just good old fashioned political correctness that dare not usurp the laity’s turn to “actively participate” such as it is misunderstood.
I know my post seemed harsh, but at the heart of it is a recognition of the diaconate as a highly exalted, yet remarkably under appreciated, gift from God. In the scope of things, four decades is not very long, I suppose… My hope is that, in time, the laity will recognize the gift that we’ve been given in the diaconate, and deacons will be more comfortable asserting their unique identity in Christ. It seems to me we have a long way to go.
Louie Verrecchio



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Louie Verrecchio

posted December 18, 2009 at 10:07 pm


Deacon Patrick,
My apologies for being so curt. Of course I don;t really know you and it’s unfair of me to make assumptions based on one post.
That said, if RGB read your reply, took it to heart and never came back, I think it’s fair to say he walked away with a very skewed idea of who deacons are.
General comment: It seems that a great many deacons do in fact have an identity crisis; whether be from deficient formation, a reluctance to appear too “clerical” or just good old fashioned political correctness that dare not usurp the laity’s turn to “actively participate” such as it is misunderstood.
I know my post seemed harsh, but at the heart of it is a recognition of the diaconate as a highly exalted, yet remarkably under appreciated, gift from God. In the scope of things, four decades is not very long, I suppose… My hope is that, in time, the laity will recognize the gift that we’ve been given in the diaconate, and deacons will be more comfortable asserting their unique identity in Christ. It seems to me we have a long way to go.
Louie Verrecchio



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Greta

posted January 7, 2010 at 12:30 am


Deacon, this site is very annoying. You spend time waiting for the site to do its thing no matter what you do. Go away from beliefnet
Why did God seem to use such short sentences with the ten commandments? Seems like he should have at least put in a few thousand words with each one. It would have made things much easier on everyone seeking to find their own interpretation or wiggle room. I find the pronouncements of the church in almost any form to be wordy beyound belief and never clearly stating a point. The teacher who makes the instruction hard finds the class is all over the place. How about some clear bullett points.
Women choices religious of various orders
Men Priest or deacons
Final, no change now or ever allowed on the chair of St Peter or whatever else is mandated by the church as something all Catholics have to believe and follow.
Of course Nancy Peolosi and a herd of other political hacks that call themselves Catholic can’t seem to get thou shall not kill right supporting the torture and murder of innocent children in the womb whose only crime is their age and location. Talk about profiling. No murder unless the person is located in a womb and under the age of 9 months. Didn’t king herod go after kids under a specific age located in a specific place as well? What did they call that slaughter again?



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Deacon Greg Kandra

posted January 7, 2010 at 12:42 am


Greta:
I know. As you’ve heard me say elsewhere, and often: I hate the way this site operates, too. So do most of the people I know who visit it. I wish I could change it. But for now, I can’t.
Sorry.
Dcn. G.



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Maryann L Mitchell

posted January 8, 2010 at 11:02 am


I was raised Roman Catholic, attended all parochial schools and became a lay minister. In your teachings we are all called to be apostles of Christ through the Sacrament of Confirmation. ALL OF US! Because of your canon laws it is better for me as a woman to teach God’s word outside of your closed doors where Christ also taught. If I were a man I would have become a priest; I have accepted my wilderness of the church you left me. I have a voice and the Spirit of God is with me. I have been taught by my Heavenly Father and Jesus my Lord in enlightening me of the scriptures from visible sight and audible hearing in my relationship with them; for years. And no I don’t want to be a nun to teach catechism.
The apostle’s of Jesus were married and their wives traveled with them and their children. God has nomenclature amongst his people who he has anointed himself and has given prosperous gifts amongst them for his kingdom. Those of us who know the Lord are fighting evil in the world and not just attending mass on Sunday. It is a happy day to fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ at Sunday Mass, but once we leave there are REAL demons, evil spirits, sickness, poverty, hate, malice and many other things that go on daily until we see you at Mass again. At night I sleep with a light on because evil things come to me in the dark and no I am not afraid of the dark. It is just that is part of evils realm. I have had those experiences since I was a child. Going to Mass does not teach people how to fight off evil. I have been an intercessor for years and it is my calling by witness and confirmation. I say all these things because your deacons are the force against what is outside your closed doors as the apostles were for Christ. A deacon is not a disciple. Man cannot live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. It takes an experience to be called by God. I hope that you will allow man to fulfill his needs as God has created him which you will never change. All man was created by God for procreation, even the apostles and the disciples. God is love and all of you were made in his image and likeness. What makes you think God doesn’t feel? All of what you feel is God; every part of you and he knows it. If he wanted divine beings in man he would not have destroyed the Nephalim and their children in the first world before Noah. HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR!



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Your Name

posted November 21, 2012 at 5:43 pm


So it seams to me that in order to allow women to be deacons, we would either have to change the nature of Holy Orders or take away Holy Orders from deacons.

I have a few comments after reading the comments:

deacon Patrick, in your response to Mr. Louie Verrichio you accused him of resorting to ad hominem attacks against you. I am confused by this as I did not consider anything he said a personal attack against you. He was correcting you, if that correction was unwarranted then defend your statements instead of dressing up his accusations.

I personally agree with his analysis that many deacons do not have a clear understanding of their role, and I would further say that this is primarily due to a denial of the supernatural in many areas of the Church today.

To Maryann L Mitchell, next time please make use of paragraphs. Writing a wall of text like that makes reading your comments very hard.

However, it is great that you are a lay minister. It is also wonderful that the church allows this role for men and women. I am unsure as to whether you wish to be a deacon or not, but I must ask why it is a deacon that you want specifically? What is it that you would be able to do as a deacon that you cannot do as a lay minister?

To the rest of you, do you all realize the scandal that you are bringing by saying that women deacons (seeing as how deacons are still very close to that of a priest, regardless of changes in Canon 1009) are a possibility? It is a fact that women deacons are an impossibility right now. You would have to change a lot of things to allow for this. But really why do you think this is even needed in the first place?

I ask you this, why do we have a shortage of priests in some areas of the church today? Why is there a shortage of nuns in some areas of the church today? I think at the very core of this whole issue is a misunderstanding of sexuality, and most importantly a misunderstanding surrounding the value of celibacy.

I have heard stories in my diocese of the Bishop refusing to ordain men who he thought were “too traditional,” only to have those same men be ordained elsewhere. Everywhere I look places that have a history of disloyalty to the magestarium are experiencing a shortage of priests. But orders that are loyal to the teachings of the church seemingly have no problems attracting vocations.

Ordaining women to the deaconite really is not needed. Lay people already contribute much to the church on all levels, both men and women. The sacrament of Holy Orders has always been reserved for men. Are you saying that those that came before us somehow had it wrong? That we need to change our core beliefs to somehow remain relevant? We do not. The church will continue to grow by holding to what we have always taught.



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MARYANN L MITCHELL

posted December 26, 2012 at 6:11 am


I will answer your questions YOUR NAME, but not right now.

Come join “Our Heavenly Father’s House of Prayer” and “Law of Faith” on Facebook.

Have a Happy Happy New Year!



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posted 10:29:55pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Big day in the Big Easy: 10 new deacons
Deacon Mike Talbot has the scoop: 10 men today were ordained as Permanent Deacons for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. This group of men was formally selected on the day the evacuation of New Orleans began as Hurricane Katrina approached. The immediate aftermath of the storm for this class would be

posted 6:55:42pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Gaudete! And let's break out a carol or two...
"Gesu Bambino," anyone? This is one of my favorites, and nobody does it better than these gals: Kathleen Battle and Frederica von Staade. Enjoy.

posted 1:04:10pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »




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