Skip to comments.Against the Permenant Diaconate
Posted on 02/10/2005 11:30:48 PM PST by thor76
Our Lady of the Roses and Cardinal Spellman against permanent deacons...
"Why are you now planning to take married men, making them what you call deacons, to give the sanctity and holiness, the grace in marriage to My sheep? What right have you to change the rules and the direction?" - Jesus, May 23, 1979
Non-celibate deacons in the Roman Rite: a break with Tradition
Fr. James McLucas explains that "The preparation for optional celibacy began with the introduction of the permanent diaconate following the Second Vatican Council." Although it was claimed that this change was nothing more than the restoration of a classic practice, many Church leaders "remained silent, however, about the fact that there had never been a Holy Order that was non-celibate since the mandating of celibacy in the Western Church." Fr. McLucas goes on to say that "The Vatican signaled early on its growing indifference towards celibacy within Holy Orders by permitting widowed permanent deacons to remarry. This contradicted an ancient practice that even the Eastern Church, which permits a married clergy, does not allow." ("Emasculating the Priesthood," Fr. James McLucas)
(Excerpt) Read more at tldm.org ...
The issue of permanent, non-celibate deacons is a very timely one - with some folks openly questioning the churches discipline on clerical celibacy.
May 23, 1979 ??
That is the date of the alleged locution. Assuming it to be true, it would not be the first time in history that Mary, saints, or even Our Lord himself has spoken to a priviledged soul.
It is not for me to stand in judgement of Veronica Leuken and her supposed locutions. I dont make the news - I just report it. However, if should be noted that Christ himself has appeared to some priviledged souls in the past. St. Faustina Kowalska would be a prime example - and she was given many messages, including the Divine Mercy devotion.
If one were to click on the link and read the entire article - which has some very interesting quotes from prominant writers and clergy on the subject of the non-celibate diaconate.
It would provide some food for thought......even if you do not consider Bayside to be credible.
Furthermore, the "revelations" contain statements contrary to Catholic teaching including references to "Rapture" like events and to my knowledge, none of Mrs. Lueken's predictions have come to pass.
Finally, it was condemned outright by the local bishop.
The "apparitions" will be found "thought-provoking" only by those who already believe that everything which currently occurs in the Church is the result of a conspiracy.
Those who respect Catholic teaching and the Pope will find these "apparitions" bogus.
LOL!!! Veronica Luekens was dismissed as a mental case by the Diocese of Brooklyn in 1973.
You are scraping the bottom of the barrel when you use this imposter to justify your positions.
Aren't you one of those "by their fruits, you will know them" people?
Well, the permanent diaconate has ordained over 800 men per year over the last 25 years, on average. That's twice the number of men who've been ordained to the celibate priesthood.
The permanent diaconate is the only clerical vocation that continues to grow dramatically.
Oh, Jesus has on a most beautiful red velvet gown, tinged in gold all about the edging. And I can see Jesus slippers; His are a tan. It looks like some type of an animal skin, but theyre tan, and theyre open. His feet are very evident in His slippers.
And, if Luekens' account is to be believed, Jesus doesn't know Church History:
"Understand well: when I appointed the Apostles there were no names given as cardinals or bishops; but Peter was the first Pope, the leader, and would you say not that the Apostles were the first bishops? And after that they chose from out of multitudes, seven whom you call deacons and listed as deacons, but they were truly priests at that time.
As we all know, the early deacons were truly deacons: they did not celebrate the Eucharist, but assisted the bishops only. The office of priesthood came about in the second century, when bishops were not able to personally preside at every gathering of Christians.
Laying aside the source of the article, Cardinal Spellman is a reliable source, and I believe he had a well reasoned argument. He was not opposed to the perm diaconate in principle, just in actual practice as he deemed it unnecessary. Wouldn't the church desires more priests than more deacons? Makes sense to me.
However, fast-forwarding to now. We have the exact situation he foresaw. I don't imply causality, because I believe this is far down on the list of causes for the decline in vocations. But, if one were to think practically as Cardinal Spellman did in his time, I think the existence of a permanent diaconate is now a necessity. They can perform a significant number of priestly functions outside of the Mass, and they are usually not paid, saving the church the expense of supporting these men. I realize I am departing from the TLM status quo on this. But I, like Spellman, do not oppose the permanent diaconate in principle. I do oppose the way and the reasons it came to be existent today. Furthermore, in my experience, I can count on one hand the number of permanent deacons I have known to be theologically and liturgically orthodox. The rest of them I have found highly questionable in their words and in their demeanor.
So, I offer a present day solution to this issue. Use the permanent diaconate as it now exists in places where the number of priests are substantially low. In other places, either phase it out or transform it into a more clerical function. What do I mean? Well, hypothetically, if I were a deacon today, I would don a cassock and collar whenever I was in the presence of parishioners I serve, perform the liturgical roles proper to my office in their fullest extent possible, always use the title "Rev. Mr." in all correspondence. In other words, I would act as if I were no different than a deacon in the seminary, except that I would be married.
Can a deacon actually wear clerical dress? I assumed the only reason why seminarian deacons wore clerical attire was that they were seminarians, not that they were deacons. My only thought is it could get easy to confuse a priest and a deacon when they are both wearing a cassock or other form of clerical dress.
Do you wear anything that distinguishes you from the other parishoners on Sunday, but also from the priest?
When priests and seminarians (i.e. all those in the clerical state in some way) understand that they are "set apart" and fulfill a unique role, they well understand that dressing the part is the norm. Seminarians should (and actually do in some places) dress in the same way as a priest. A deacon, because he is ordained to holy orders, should distinguish himself from a layman. In the case of a permanent deacon, I believe he should be in clericals at all times in public. Of course to an unknowing third party, any of these men would be assumed to be priests, but that is an honest case of ignorance, and is easily corrected by a kind word of the part of the cleric.
But that doesnt change a thing! They cannot do things that ordained priests can do, namely, give absolution and say Mass.
Nice job, youve changed the subject of the whole thread in just a short time! Kudos!
Many of the permanent Deacons around here (NoVA and MD) wear clerical black almost all the time ... as have almost all the religious Brothers (not ordained at all) that I have known. Except for Franciscans ... they wear brown or grey robes.
I think you, along with everyone here, understands what I mean by orthodoxy. In fact, orthodoxy is an objective term, and that is what I imply by my statement. You are lucky that the deacons you know are better fit to serve. Some of use are not that fortunate.
In case you didn't understand the first time...I said "in my experience". I cannot speak for others in this regard, but you seem to assume I did.
I try to be as even handed as possible, and I still get shrill language thrown at me. Please, all, read my words carefully, and understand that I am speaking and presenting my thoughts in a calm, even manner.
In the ECUSA, both deacons and priests wear clerical garb. In church, a priest wears his stole looped around the back of his neck with the free ends both hanging down his chest. A deacon wears the stole over one shoulder, with the free ends gathered together at the waist on the opposite side from the shoulder the stole is looped around.
Precisely. Our bishop asks us to NOT wear clerical dress, except on certain occasions. I wear a business suit, or jacket and tie, on Sundays. WE ARE NOT PRIESTS, and should not be confused with priests.
jrny, the revival of the permanent diaconate was intended to establish it in its proper place: a helper to the bishop and priests. It exists independently of the priesthood, and should be encouraged as a separate vocation. Talk of "phasing it out" where priests are plentiful is contrary to the purpose of the diaconate. Deacons are not "junior priests". If men are opting to bypass the priesthood, marry, and wait until they're 35 to apply to the permanent diaconate, the problem is not the diaconate.
As for "more of a clerical function," deacons can do everything except celebrate the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. There has been some discussion about permitting deacons to administer the Sacrament of the Sick, but it's just talk, as of now.
How much more clerical would you have deacons be, other than donning clerical dress?
If men are opting to bypass the priesthood, marry, and wait until they're 35 to apply to the permanent diaconate, the problem is not the diaconate.
I agree with you here.
Transitional Deacons dress the same as priests. I believe all deacons should exercise the same functions and dress the same. I think the term DEACON should trump whether or not he is transitional or permanent.
How much more clerical would you have deacons be, other than donning clerical dress?
Well, because I am a TLM supporter and proponent, I was thinking in terms of all the diaconal functions I know of in the old rite. In the old rite, you have Solemn High Masses, whereby a deacon, in my opinion, seems to be exercising a more complete liturgical role than his counterpart in the Novus Ordo. This is probably more of a New vs. Old Mass argument, so let's not go there. I just prefer the old way of a deacon being a liturgical minister. In fact, again I depart from my TLM brethren, I would, in principle, support the permanent diaconate even in the old rite.
Outside of Mass, and this is more subjective, I would like to see deacons exerting more of a "gravitas" comportment(as I would a lot of priests too). I would like to see them performing all of their liturgical roles in a very visible manner to the laity. Baptisms, Weddings, Official Blessings from the Ritual for all sorts of items, Funerals, Viaticum, and even Anointing. It's my impression that a lot of unknowing laity do not understand the nature of the priesthood nor diaconate. Again, this has more to do with the choices on the parts of clerics to educate people. I don't like it when a random permanent deacon comes across as more of a nice, grandpa type who doesn't seem to understand that he is a member of the clergy.
Maybe transforming it is a more prudent solution than phasing the diaconate out. At this time, I cannot give you a conclusive reason to phase it out.
I disagree with your bishops decision. I think when cassocks make a come back on a large scale, all of the concerns I listed above will likely go away. The outside of a man has plenty to say about his interior dispositions.
This is an objective statement, not directed at you personally.
All in all, I want to work for ways to transform the "Novus Ordo" establishment into a more traditional direction through prudent, careful, gradual, and prayerful ways. Simply going back to 1960's and doing a 180 would be more damaging than good. I think most would agree, so I apply this principle to the perm diaconate as well.
I agree with everything you said. Orthodoxy is what it means.
Forgive my ignorance, but where did the term Integrist come from? And what exactly does it mean? I am not familiar with this term. "Integer" is Latin for "Whole, Entire". Are they the whole of something? Please explain. Thanks.
So when does this apply to churches in Dallas? :-)
Rather is is the late homosexual apostate Bishops of Brooklyn, Francis Mugavero who should have been condemned for what he did to the faith of the laity in his diocese.
The fact that Mugavero was in material heresy & schism (an may well have been personally guilty of those sins as well) left him self excommunicated. Thus he was a licit holder of the office of Ordinary of the See of Brooklyn.......but an invalid one. So any order like what you quoted has all the importance of a piece of toilet paper, as its author was moot.
Moreover, Mugavero never did his duty under Canon Law: namely, to throughly investigate the seer, witnesses, purported messages, any alledged miracles. The seer herself should have been interviewed, and determine3d to be sane.
NONE of that was ever done - neither by Mugavero, nor by his two successors.
His so called "condemnation" is based upon.......nothing. Except the fear that people might actually listen to the messages, and get mad as hell at the Bishop of Brooklyn and his overwhelmingly gay and apostate clergy. So - to his mind - he had to condemn it out of necessity.
For to follow proper proceedure and investigate it throughly would be like turning over a rock in the woods: you find some nasty things.
Regardless of whether the messages are truly from heaven, much of their content is true: of the defection of the clergy...their deriliction of duty.....the destruction of the mass.....the destruction of the personal faith of many.
I have no way of proving - or disproving - whether Paul VI was replaced by a double. Though, I would personally not be suprised to learn it was true.
However the contention that JPI was murdered....or that JPII is a virtual prisoner? There is more then enough circumstantial evidence to lend credance to those ideas.
Again, I remain neutral on hte subject of Bayside. My point in referenceing the article from this site was the content of the article, and the quotes from Spellman and others on the subject of the non celibate lay diaconate.
Veronica Leuken was never, ever examined or interviewed by any person representing hte Diocese of Brooklyn. Period. She was never examined by a liscenced psychiatrist emplyed by the Diocese of Brooklyn.
You dont have to believe in Bayside - but stop spreading old lies about a deceased woman!
You are (allegdely) a deacon - not a priest. So you have no power, cannot say mass, hear confessions, or annoint the dying and shrive them of their sins(i.e. give the Last Rites).
As the article indicates, one of the motivations for establishing the socalled permanent lay diaconate was to agitate against clerical celilbacy.........of which it has done a wonderful job.
.......and of which agenda you eminantly espouse, byt your posts.
Part of the problem with the diaconate - aside from the celibacy issue - is the confusion of roles with that of the priest, as well as a seeming pseudo-eqaulity of staus in the eyes of many of the laity.
In the TLM, the role of the deacon (normally assumed by an ordained priest) was a crucial role - as was the subdeacon - but was very clearly subordinate to that of the priest. Not just in garb, but in gesture & posture. The only one who stood at the altar was the priest celebrant. The deacon and subdeacon knelt on the steps of the altar, behind and below him. For that matter, in a Pontifical High Mass, teh presiding Bishop (archbishop, Cardinal), if he were not the celebrant, would be himself kneeling at a prie-dieu.
The role of the celebrating priest was paramount, and not in anyway confused with anybody else...be there 3 or 20 priests present.
Today, as commonly celebrated, a mass with a priest assited by a deacon appears to the casual observer as if the deacon is - in reality - an assistant priest. Of similar, or even equal status. Quote any document to the contrary - I am here speaking of what is readily apparant to the naked eye.
In addition, there is tremendous confusion of roles regarding the lay persons who distribute communion, the deacon, and the preist. Again, this confusion is painfully obvious.
THIS is what the article is about.
The "article" is full of paranoia. The primary motivation in re-establishing the permanent diaconate was to recognize the true charism of the diaconate, as manifested in the early Church, but lost over the centuries. Subsuming the diaconate to a year in seminary as a passage to the priesthood denied the diaconate its proper role in the three major orders of diaconate, priesthood, and episcopate.
Paul VI was under no obligation to follow the recommendations of the Council, but he recognized the importance of this ministry. The permanent diaconate is the fastest-growing vocation in the Church today, and evidence that there is no shortage of men who wish to serve the Church, even undertaking the obligations of the diaconate.
Instead of trashing this ministry, you should be praising it. Why, I'll bet your diocese would even take you as a candidate.
Another nasty Masonic Plot!!!
The permanent diaconte is a useless ministry. Most of what deacons can do can - and is - done by lay persons without benefit of the so-called "training" of a deacon.
I have only seen one deacon in all my years who actually was an exemplary role model, who also truly had and taught the Catholic faith. The others were just so much used kitty litter. Some of them are straight, single and sexually active, and some of them are gay and sexually active. Most of them are a disgrace, and grossly ignorant of the teachings of the church.
Paul VI was quite foolish to have put forth this program, as it has caused great confusion among the laity as to the role of the priest......with wannabe priests (deacons), plainclothes lesbian/wiccan nuns, and random lay persons cluttering up the sanctuary.....each taking nibbles of the proper role of the priest. And dimishing it.
Trash this so-called minstry? I dont need to: it is self-trashing.
Deacons are not "wannabe priests." They are deacons. They will always be deacons.
The others were just so much used kitty litter. Some of them are straight, single and sexually active, and some of them are gay and sexually active. Most of them are a disgrace, and grossly ignorant of the teachings of the church.
Anybody can say anything on the internet, and this is just made up sour grapes. There are so few single permanent deacons, gay or straight, as to be negligible.
You, thor, are using your personal animus toward me to attack a ministry of the Catholic Church. Everybody knows that's what you're doing and, if they didn't know, they know now.
It's cheap and tawdry to see you reduced to lying about good men to get back at me.
'It's cheap and tawdry to see you reduced to lying about good men to get back at me"
Frankly, I would not bother expending the energy to make the keystrokes, were what I stated not true.
And in realtion to "single" lay deacons.......of of the gay ones I am aware of is quite married........to a man.
Deacons are wannabe priests. They are either those who are married - and cannot be priest because they are married - or single men who do not wish to make the totally commitment which the holy priesthood of God asks of them.
in the first case they are trying to serve two masters, and in the second do not wish to make a total commitment to either.
I used to have a very visceral aversion to them, for the exact reason you listed. But it's been here, at FR, and my encounter with Tantumergo, who is a Deacon, that my aversion was transformed into an appreciation, and ether affection.
he wasn't proving or disproving, ergo, he is technically neutral. And what's this about the Masons?
I have been away for a while and not had chance to catch up with the myriad pings I've received in my absence, but I felt obliged to jump in here because there are numerous errors both in the posted story and subsequent comments.
Thor, I normally agree with you 100% in your analysis of the present sorry state of Holy Mother Church, however, I must question your seemingly uncritical acceptance of these alleged apparitions.
Firstly, deacons were the first of the Holy Orders to be established after and by the apostles. Our order existed in the New Covenant before the order of presbyter, and initially the only ministers with a liturgical function were the bishops and deacons - the presbyters effectively "sat in choir" until they later assumed the role of "mini-bishops".
In both East and West, the deacon was always an ordinary minister of Holy Communion - specifically it was his duty to minister the Precious Blood to the faithful. However, the deacon has always had a levitical role rather than a priestly role, and so never (officially) offered the sacrifice.
The order of deacon has always been the first of the 3 major orders of the Church; a deacon is in Holy Orders; he is a clergyman and consequently there is NO SUCH THING AS A LAY DEACON. The term is an oxymoron, a nonsense, a protestantism!!!
The terms "transitional" and "permanent" are irrelevant because they are merely adjectives - there is only one order of DEACON. It is a HOLY order and a CLERICAL order which is configured to be an icon of the Servant Christ just as a priest is configured to be an icon of Christ the High Priest. Both terms are misnomers IMHO because there is no such thing as a non-permanent deacon - a deacon who goes on to be ordained to the priesthood is always still a deacon. Hence the pre-conciliar practice of a bishop being vested in a dalmatic under his chasuble.
As a clergyman, he should dress as such which means clerical garb and collar or cassock. For those of us who are not ashamed of what we are, we dress appropriately. People can always distinguish me from the local priests because I wear my clerical shirts and collar or my cassock, whereas most of the priests round here wear sweatshirts and jeans!!! I do admit to not wearing my cassock in the bath, however!!!
As for the restoration of the "non-transitional" diaconate and admission of married men to its ranks being a product of the nefarious spirit of Vatican II, the entity which was giving these alleged visions to the alleged visionary was obviously very ignorant of the history of the Ecumenical Councils! It may surprise you to learn that it was actually the COUNCIL OF TRENT which first called for the restoration of the diaconate and it was the COUNCIL OF TRENT which also called for the admission of married men as clerics, although obviously not to the priesthood and episcopate.
The diaconate is not a backdoor to married priests in the West - that will never be the norm. The far graver threat to our Tradition is the admission of married former-Anglican pseudo-clergy to the Catholic priesthood: BIG MISTAKE! A deacon is a deacon and that has nothing whatsoever to do with the discipline of the priesthood.
You think most deacons are ignorant of Church teaching? Big deal - I KNOW THEY ARE! But in case it had escaped your notice, most bishops, priests and laypeople are also ignorant! We are swimming in a veritable cesspool of heresy at the current time and the diaconate is no less immune from this than any other part of the Church. But its not because they are deacons that they are ignorant of the Truth - they are ignorant because they are ignorant, and they've been trained and ordained by ignorant priests and ignorant bishops. (I'm being charitable here by calling them ignorant - but you know what I mean - its Lent!)
As for "having power", the deacon has the three munera of teaching in the name of the Church, sanctifying by administration of the Sacraments and governing, that bishops and priests do. The deacon's munera are obviously limited by the faculties of the order of deacons, though.
Quite frankly I don't want the faculties to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and to absolve sins - they pertain to the vocation of the priest - not the deacon. However, I do have the vocation to teach and preach - to prepare the ground and sow the seeds for the one who tends this corner of the vineyard. To my mind, in this time and age, this is the most important thing that can be done to serve Almighty God. What use is it to have the Sacraments in plentiful supply when those who should benefit from the Grace in them impede it by ignorance, heresy, and sin?
The Tridentine Mass will no more restore orthodoxy than it did prevent the Church from degenerating into widespread heresy and apostasy. The rise and domination of liberalism took place while the Tridentine rite was the only rite of Mass in the Latin Church. 99% of the bishops at Vatican II knew no other rite than the Old Mass.
It is ORTHODOXY and FIDELITY which the Church needs to recover before any of the problems (including the full restoration of the Mass of St. Pius V) will be put right. These come through FAITH, which comes through HEARING, and how will anyone hear unless someone is SENT?
The Church doesn't need to get rid of the diaconate - it just needs ORTHODOX DEACONS, like it needs orthodox bishops and priests.
Thor, rather than slagging the diaconate off, maybe you should think about whether you are called to be a deacon!
I referenced the article to open a discussion about the non-celibate lay diaconate. Naturally enough, persons like yourself had to go and push the "hot button topic" of Bayside. Ok....since you pushed the button (way too many times):
"Bishop" Mugavero is bound by Canon Law to thoroughly examine and investigate all alledged cases or apparitions, visions, locutions, miracles, within his diocese. This is to examine the situation and determine its legitimacy (if any), and to see if the matter is contrary to Church teaching.
Mugavero simply threw out a letter condemning the Bayside matter without ANY investigation, meetting with the seer (or having officials of the diocese interview her). This is clear and simple deriliction of duty. He DOES NOT have the option to be cavalier in abandoning his duty. He must follow accepted proceedure - this is his duty to his diocese, and to Rome.
His validity has everything to do with his actions, words, and pronouncments as a church office holder. His successors in office have also simply refused to properly investigate the matter.
I should be noted that both Bishop Daily and the present occupant, DeMArzio are/were also in material heresy/schism as they did and do knowingly tolerate it in their clergy and chancery offices. Neither of them has done anything to reform their clergy, the performance of the sacraments, or the teaching of Church doctrine.
Our Lady has been indicating that the present tribulations of the church were to come via the sins of the clergy. She has stated this at LaSallette, Fatima, Akita......and if one wishes to believe so, at Bayside too. She has been correct.
As to the usefullness of deacons, they do pitifully little which a lay person cannot do - or be trained to do. From personal observation in a number of of dioceses, the deacons are very poorly educated, and either do not know the faith - or teach doctrine which is not Catholic. All too many have studied in programs which teach that which one should properly call error.
"Leadership roles"????? There is no better leadership role for a young man to consider then to teach and lead the People of God as a priest.......by both his words, and personal example.
Were I a single layman with a vocation I would never, ever consider the diaconate. To me this would be a halfway measure.....becoming a wannabe priest. It would be far better for one to persue the priesthood, rather then settle for halfway measures.
"Bishop" Mugavero was a licit officeholder, but had ceased to be a valid bishop by virtue of material heresy & schism. That is sufficient to render him self-excommunicated.....ergo not a Catholic.....seperated from Holy Mother Church, and thus moot.
As stated before, this would render his actions null & void. It would also invalidate any ordinations he performed, as well as episcopal consecrations.
Since you do not take heavenly apparition seriously, there is no real point in discussing that subject with you. However, a local ordinary has the obligation to seriously and thoroughly examine all purported apparitions, visions, locutions, and miracles in his diocese.
As to the course work necessary to be a deacon - I have seen the course of studies.....and that given to priests as well. I also have seen the half baked products of the local seminaries here. They are ill taught, and on the whole spiritually unprepared for thier work.
**maybe you should think about whether you are called to be a deacon!**
I would think that many of the male posters on FR would be likely candidates for the permanent diaconate. Maybe they don't want to because they realize it requires vows and promises.
God bless all of you.
** a Deacon, like a Married Priest, may not remarry. A man called to Holy Orders, who is Married, and then Widowed often takes up his Cross and follows the Priesthood. In my experience, they are often very talented at tasks they are charged with, as they have experiences in business, lay life, and the Church to draw upon.**
Bumping the truth here. Thanks, Dominick.
"Bishop" Mugavero was a licit officeholder, but had ceased to be a valid bishop by virtue of material heresy & schism.
The proof is abundantly found in the liturgical abuses - resulting in muyltitides of blashpemous & invalid masses in his diocese, the heresy and error freely preaching from pulpits under the guise of being Catholic, and the toleration of homosexuals in the priesthood. There is more then enough proof of this.
"it is abundantly obvious why it was condemned."
OK - kindly explain for me - in your own words, if you wish, why you think its was "obvious" why Bayside was condemned.
I really wanna hear this one.........
"Were I a single layman with a vocation I would never, ever consider the diaconate. To me this would be a halfway measure.....becoming a wannabe priest. It would be far better for one to persue the priesthood, rather then settle for halfway measures."
Were I a single layman with a vocation, I would offer myself for the priesthood as well.
However, if your theology of Holy Orders is correct, why would you only consider the priesthood?
Surely priests are just wannabe bishops and bishops are just wannabe popes? Why set your sights so low as the priesthood - why not aim for the top?