Can a permanent deacon ever remarry?

Is a permanent deacon who is widowed ever permitted to remarry? I ask this because a permanent deacon in a nearby parish where we sometimes worship has remarried after his first wife died. I thought this was not permitted so, in charity, I am assuming either that his first marriage was invalid or that he has received some kind of official dispensation.

Ordinarily, no, a permanent deacon is not allowed to remarry after his wife’s death. If married at the time of ordination, ordination is done on the understanding that the deacon will be celibate if his wife predeceases him. That said, I have heard of at least one case in which a permanent deacon was allowed to remarry after his wife’s death. In that case, it was because the condition of celibacy was not made clear before his ordination. So, yes, I suppose exceptions do exist. We might wish that the bishop of such a deacon would insist that the deacon embrace celibacy as part of his diaconal vocation, but it is possible that circumstances might preclude that in an individual case.

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