Dissent of the day: “The permanent diaconate is not a primary vocation…”

Some weeks back, I posted an e-mail that took issue with the vocation of permanent deacon.  I opened up the comments section for discussion.  We got some interesting feedback, including just yesterday, this one:

The permanent diaconate is not a primary vocation. The permanent deacon’s vocation is to marriage and fatherhood, and NOT to the diaconate. The theology regarding the permanent diaconate is very obscure and not well understood or developed. The permanent diaconate, in the U.S. especially, has become a place where grown men can dress up and do things that they wish they could do if they were priests, while invoking and swimming in the praise and adoration of the people. We have over-glorified the permanent diaconate in this country and it is way over-used/promoted. The permanent diaconate is a secondary vocation. The permanent deacons that I know give great service to the Church, but it is evident that they see themselves as “mini-priests” who want to and believe that they can do what Father does. My own diocese has way too many permanent deacons, even to excess, thus taking the allowance of Vatican II and blowing it out of proportion as though the permanent diaconate and having as many permanent deacons as possible is something laudable. We have taken our focus off of the priestly and religious vocation in our U.S. dioceses. I personally applaud His Excellency Bishop Bruskewitz’s decision to not introduce the unnecessary permanent diaconate into his diocese and I support even more the decision of His Excellency Bishop Conley for sticking with the policies of his predecessor.

Obviously, I disagree.  And I’m a little puzzled about how the writer praises deacons “who give great service to the Church,” but hates them anyway.

Join the conversation here. 

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