Sacrum Diaconatus Ordinem 1-3: “Whether and Where”

The frequent complaint of traditionalists and conservatives is that post-conciliar reformers did not toe the line of Vatican II. What they fail to realize is that bishops were entrusted with what was seen as the continuing effort of Church reform.

In our discussion of deacons, we read that bishops were left to determine the establishment of the permanent diaconate:

1. It is the task of the legitimate assemblies of bishops of episcopal conferences to discuss, with the consent of the Supreme Pontiff whether and where—in view of the good of the faithful—the diaconate is to be instituted as a proper and permanent rank of the hierarchy.

Bishops needed reasons for deacons, and needed to communicate with Rome:

2. When asking the Apostolic See for approval, the reasons must be explained which favor the introduction of this new practice in a region as well as the circumstances which give well-founded hope of success. Likewise, the manner will have to be indicated in which the new discipline will be implemented, that is to say, whether it is a matter of conferring the diaconate on “suitable young men for whom the law of celibacy must remain intact, or on men of more mature age, even upon those living in the married state,” or on both kinds of candidates.

Notice that a question would be left open: single young men, married men, or both. In most places, it is both, though there are few single deacons who have never married. I’ve known one in the past thirty years.

3. Once the approval of the Holy See has been obtained, it is within the powers of each Ordinary, within the sphere of his own jurisdiction, to approve and ordain the candidates, unless special cases are concerned which exceed his faculties.

Let the Ordinaries, in drawing up the report on the state of their diocese, also mention this restored discipline.

The local bishop determines the particulars. Any comments as we begin the first three of thirty-six sections on the restoration of the permanent diaconate?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in Ministry, post-conciliar liturgy documents, Sacrum Diaconatus Ordinem. Bookmark the permalink.

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