Celibacy of Deacons
#11
(07-09-2010, 01:05 AM)MeaMaximaCulpa Wrote: While the canon law's regulations on clerical dress apply to deacons as well, I think the bishop/episcopal conference can publish its own norms.  To my knowledge, this is the case, and deacons are only allowed to wear clerical dress when involved in ministry (so they're not supposed to wear blacks in the home).  In addition, some dioceses have tighter regulations.  While my bishop is a supporter of the Latin Mass, he was not supportive of the married, permanent deacon at the Latin Mass parish marching around in a cassock at various events.  So that, and some internal strife in the parish caused by people who didn't like deacons, led him to get a meeting with the bishop and ultimately a reassignment (and I believe he asked for it).

I'd do the same thing if I were the deacon. But the question is: why was it bothersome for the bishop or the laity in the first place?

In my diocese, even seminarians can wear cassocks, and in the Novus Ordo, they aren't even considered clerics until they're ordained to the diaconate.
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#12
I'm not aware of the policies of my diocese (Spokane, WA), but at my former parish in Pasco (St. Patrick's), which has several permanent deacons, the last time new vestments were ordered (from a tailor in Rome) a dalmatica was also ordered in each liturgical color, and I believe two were ordered in green and white.  I've never seen the deacons in a cassock (a newly ordained associate pastor there wears one all the time).  When some of the deacons are making pastoral calls, especially jail visits, but also hospital work, they will wear a clerical shirt with roman collar.  One deacon who frequently conducts the vigil or rosary service at funeral home chapels would dress in clericals, and would frequently be confused as a priest by people not from the parish ("Wow, how did uncle Howie rate a priest for the rosary? In our parish one is lucky to get a nun for it!"  "He's not a priest, he's a deacon.").  My observation has been that most deacons up here who are officiating at a funeral vigil or committal service will show up in their civies, and vest in alb and stole for the ceremony.

I'm thinking that as the permanent diaconate matures, and especially as they hopefully start to fill in parish administrative and catechetical positions now mostly held by lay women (though those types of positions usually don't pay well, and wouldn't always be attractve to a man with a family to support, unless he is close to "retirement age", with the kids gone), we may see a change in attitude, and more visibility for the permanent deacons outside of the liturgy.

My diocese has a collegiate level seminary adjacent to Gonzaga University, which also houses candidates from the Diocese of Yakima, Archdiocese of Seattle, and the Diocese of Baker (OR). 
http://www.bishopwhiteseminary.com.  A priest was telling me that there was a desire to have a form of dress to make the seminarians publicly visible, especially when they were back in their home parish.  One thought was a black suit, white shirt and tie, and an attractive permanent name tag to wear on the suit.  Many thought they would look too much like Mormon Missionaries.  They went with embrodiered whit shirts, and pullover sweaters instead (pics on the web site).
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#13
(07-09-2010, 04:33 PM)moneil Wrote: A priest was telling me that there was a desire to have a form of dress to make the seminarians publicly visible, especially when they were back in their home parish.  One thought was a black suit, white shirt and tie, and an attractive permanent name tag to wear on the suit.  Many thought they would look too much like Mormon Missionaries.  They went with embrodiered whit shirts, and pullover sweaters instead (pics on the web site).

And no one just thought of wearing cassocks?

While the post-Vatican II Church is trying to decentralize the power of the priesthood (in theory), they seem to be trying to make clerical dress solely the province of priests, rather than also deacons and seminarians. How ridiculous.
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#14
(07-07-2010, 09:42 PM)RalphKramden Wrote: I know in my diocese there is definitely a ban on clerical dress. The only exception is for prison ministry, even then the deacon must be clearly identifiable (whatever?) as a deacon. I guess they're scared the laity are too stupid and might confuse a deacon with a priest.

Well, we are pretty clueless.  When I went to my first TLM, one of the servers was a guy in his 30s.  He was in the vestibule getting some things ready before Mass, wearing the black server's cassock -- but no white collar -- and an older lady walked up to ask him a question and called him Father.  When he corrected her, I was glad she beat me to it, because he looked more priest-ish than a lot of priests nowadays, so he had me fooled too.  Now when seminarians and deacons come to visit wearing clericals, I wonder how we're supposed to tell who's what.  I suspect there's a clue in their clothing somehow, but I don't know what it is.
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#15
(07-09-2010, 05:43 PM)Mhoram Wrote: Now when seminarians and deacons come to visit wearing clericals, I wonder how we're supposed to tell who's what.  I suspect there's a clue in their clothing somehow, but I don't know what it is.

A cassock and collar is the same for priests, deacons and seminarians. The only difference I know is that if a biretta has a pom on it, that person must be a deacon or higher.

So there really isn't a way to tell. Just know that clerical dress is the same for any cleric who's not a bishop. Historically, it was imposed to make clerics identifiable and keep them out of shady places like brothels.
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#16
(07-09-2010, 05:00 PM)The_Harlequin_King Wrote:
(07-09-2010, 04:33 PM)moneil Wrote: A priest was telling me that there was a desire to have a form of dress to make the seminarians publicly visible, especially when they were back in their home parish.  One thought was a black suit, white shirt and tie, and an attractive permanent name tag to wear on the suit.  Many thought they would look too much like Mormon Missionaries.  They went with embrodiered whit shirts, and pullover sweaters instead (pics on the web site).

And no one just thought of wearing cassocks?

While the post-Vatican II Church is trying to decentralize the power of the priesthood (in theory), they seem to be trying to make clerical dress solely the province of priests, rather than also deacons and seminarians. How ridiculous.

It perhaps was thought of, idk.  I’m guessing the average ’20 something’ college seminarian, at a school where the majority of the other students are not seminarians, wouldn’t want to walk about campus all day in a cassock, but do want to have an identification as a seminarian.  Perhaps much like how fraternity men (and I, as an alumnus and university advisor) wear our Greek letters about campus and the town.

I use to live next to a small Greek Orthodox mission parish (which is where I became acquainted with the Christian East, and it was also from them I really began to learn the importance of tradition), and I stop in to visit them now and again (after going to Mass).  At the moment they only have a visiting priest two Saturdays a month, but have Vespers and Matins every weekend.  They had a deacon who recently moved to another parish, and they have three “tonsured readers” (what we would call one who has received the minor order of lector).  I’ve noticed there that even when a particular reader doesn’t have a role in the service, and is sitting with his family, he is vested in a cassock.

I understand your view, and agree with it.  It will just take time.  There is a two pronged dilemma, in my view.

Unlike the East, in the Latin Rite the minor orders, and the diaconate, rather than having a genuine function in the life of the church, exercised at the parish level, and being an office to which one might be called by God to fulfill in its own right, had become principally ceremonial stepping stones that seminarians were routed through on their way to the priesthood.  The average pre VII Catholic was barely aware of the minor orders, and if there were a Solemn Mass at the parish, the liturgical roles assigned by the rubrics to the minor orders and the deacon, were almost always filled by a priest (or the altar servers).

The Second Vatican Council, or its implementation, restored the orders of Lector, Acolyte, and Deacon as permanent ministries.  However, there was the “Spirit of VII” attitude about how things were implemented, which is the other prong of the dilemma.

In a sense it is a case of “latter centuries tradition, or the perception thereof” and “spirit of VII” making strange bedfellows.

At least these orders are back “on the books” now, so things can “organically develop”.  While the permanent diaconate has been implemented in the U.S., the minor orders of Lector and Acolyte (as permanent rather than transitory offices) have not (this is my understanding).  I have heard that has been because the bishops didn’t want to deal with “issues” over these orders being restricted to males.   So, we just have hordes of lay readers, servers, and Eucharistic ministers now.

As the U.S. episcopate changes (renewed might be the “word”) these minor orders will eventually be restored here also, I would say.
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#17
I sought to be installed as an acolyte last year, but my diocese restricts it to seminarians. Almost all others do the same, but I also know the Diocese of Galveston-Houston recently opened it up to non-seminarians.
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#18
thank you all for your help.

I am aware that the diaconate is not priesthood in any shape or form. I think it is important to remember that every ordained priest was once a deacon. Even the pope, using the title servus servorum Dei, goes back to his roots as a deacon (servus, servant, diakonos, servant.)
It has nothing to so with wanting to have the right to wearing a cassock, or having some kind of authority. I have realized that being a help to others and being a contributing member of society can be very rewarding. I learned this primarily through the scouts, actually. (I became an Eagle Scout last March, but I still have yet to have my court of honor.)

Yes, I am struggling with if being a doctor is my choice or God's. People weren't helpful to young boys who wanted to priests in my family. When my grandmother heard about my interest in the Latin Mass she said, you don't want to be  priest, do you? Since their church was closed down and they dont go to church anymore, I can imagine that they identify a priest with lots of negative connotations we have around here, one being, the Catholic clergy are more like businessman than savers of souls.

So the concensus is the SSPX are wrong?

And if I wore a cassock without my bishop's permission, isn't that disobedience? wasn't there a saint who disobeyed his bishop for a good cause but was reprimanded for disobedience anyway? If being a deacon is being a doormat for the bishop instead of a helper in getting people to heaven and contributing to the clergys outreach to the people then I'm out.

Pax
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#19
First, if you are certain you do not have a vocation, then don't worry what other's say to you. As a high school teacher in a SSPX school I have come across dozens of boys, some of whom very likely have vocations to the religious or ecclesiastical life, and others who are very devout, good servers with a keen interest in religious matters, but who do not have a religious vocation, and are certain of this, despite that family or friends often harangue them on account of their devotion and interest in religion.

Interest in religion and piety are qualities we all should have, they are not identifying marks of a priest, but of a good Catholic. A cleric should have these qualities as well, and perhaps in superabundance.

So if you think you may have a vocation, then get yourself a traditional or solid priest whom will be a spiritual director and discuss the matter with him. Visit regularly (at least once a month) and discuss how things are going in your spiritual and active lives and take his direction on what you should be doing, what needs to be fixed and what devotions and prayers to offer. If you let him direct you and find out more about you on a deeper level, then he can help make a better evaluation on whether you should consider a vocation. A good priest will probably recommend a retreat. Ignatian retreats are highly recommended, but there are various methods you can use to step out of the world for a bit and consider your prayer life, your sins, your desires and what God wills for you, without the distractions of your normal life.

I know you have written that you understand the difference between a priest and a deacon, but at the same point, from what you are writing it seems as if you're looking at the permanent diaconate as a "one foot in each camp" position because of a lack of discernment. My recommendation would be to spend more time discerning what it is God wants of you.

This is probably my biggest gripe against the Permanent Diaconate (while I don't share the somewhat overboard views in the Article, I do share their trepidation for the married Permanent Diaconate). It seems in the modern Church that instead of the permanent diaconate being a way a man consecrates himself to God and his service, it is a way of being both a cleric and a layman (at least in practice). The barrier that celibacy and the rigorous step-wise education required of the Subdeacon, Deacon and the Priest served as a fine barrier which made men go through a serious discernment process and really commit themselves to their vocation, which required of them daily recitation of the office and other duites that came along with the privileges they received. While I am certain there are many good and committed permanent deacons, my sense from growing up in the modern Church and talking to these deacons as I considered my vocation was that they were trying to have the best of both worlds and really did not seriously consider whether they had a vocation. They wanted to serve the church and live their own lives, too, which really is the antithesis of the clerical state, in which a man is supposed to die to himself for the good of the faithful.

There are many ways to serve the Church and still have a "normal" life, and there is nothing dishonorable about this in the least. God calls many people to serve His Church, and not all are meant to be ordained.

At the same point, I am certainly not going to deny any Permanent Deacon his rightful honor, but I see the position as wholly unnecessary outside a full restoration of the Orders.

Regarding dress, the standard dress in the Latin rite for secular clerics is the cassock with Roman Collar. In some countries (the U.S. is one) the clerical suit was the traditional street garb for a cleric. Either of these are acceptable and a cleric, by right, is entitled to wear them. It is not within the Bishop's purview to restrict clerics from wearing what is their proper garments. Under the current law, a man becomes a cleric (outside the traditional societies which retain tonsure), when he is ordained a Deacon.

Regarding the SSPX, I would say I think the article is a poor way of questioning the value of the Permanent Diaconate, but I think that they are correct in questioning the value of allowing Permanent Deacons and also permitting them to marry. Arguing from St. Thomas' discussion on law, the good that comes out of allowing this does not offset the harm caused in changing a millenial tradition in the West. In a sense, changing this law, especially allowing married deacons, IMHO, while it was supposed to restore the role of the deacon, ended up reducing the value and dignity of the deaconate,

On discernment: I have for many years wanted to enter the Seminary and become a priest. Finally I will this fall. I have a family which is wholly unsupportive of this, so I can understand how this can be a real hardship. At the same point in time, you need to discern without worrying about what your family or anyone else thinks. The positive reactions of others don't mean that you should be a priest, and the negative reactions don't mean your shouldn't. Ultimately, God does the calling and the choosing, but a man who has a vocation makes a choice, and that choice is supposed to be free, not contingent on what others might think.

Be assured of my prayers for your discernment.
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#20
(07-09-2010, 07:34 PM)randomtradguy Wrote: So the concensus is the SSPX are wrong?

First of all, I don't think that's the "official" SSPX position. I don't mind people not liking the married diaconate, but I firmly believe that the permanent diaconate in general is very good for the Church.

Quote:And if I wore a cassock without my bishop's permission, isn't that disobedience? wasn't there a saint who disobeyed his bishop for a good cause but was reprimanded for disobedience anyway? If being a deacon is being a doormat for the bishop instead of a helper in getting people to heaven and contributing to the clergys outreach to the people then I'm out.

MagisterMusicae Wrote:Regarding dress, the standard dress in the Latin rite for secular clerics is the cassock with Roman Collar. In some countries (the U.S. is one) the clerical suit was the traditional street garb for a cleric. Either of these are acceptable and a cleric, by right, is entitled to wear them. It is not within the Bishop's purview to restrict clerics from wearing what is their proper garments. Under the current law, a man becomes a cleric (outside the traditional societies which retain tonsure), when he is ordained a Deacon.

As much as I'd like to agree with Magister's position, I'm not sure that's true. Paul VI's motu proprio which re-established the permanent diaconate, Sacrum Diaconatus Ordinem, has only this to say on matters of dress:

Paul VI, Sacrum Diaconatus Ordinem Wrote:31. In the matter of wearing apparel the local custom will have to be observed according to the norms set down by the episcopal conference.

So Rome delegates the issue to the episcopal conference, and I believe the USCCB delegates it further to individual bishops' decisions. I'm not sure a deacon has a canonical "right" to wear clerical dress. Though if I were a bishop, I'd impose it on my deacons as long as they're on church property or actively ministering.

But I believe that deacons have a liturgical right to wear the dalmatic, no matter what a bishop says.
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