Deacons of the Church


I was told by the deacon in my Catholic church, that if a deacon’s wife dies,. he is not allowed to remarry. Is this true and if so can you give me a common sense explanation for this rule. I certainly understand if a Anglican priest is married and is allowed to become a Catholic priest and his wife dies, he would not be permitted to remarry. But a deacon not permitted to remarry seems illogical to me. Thank you.:confused:


I believe it is scripture that tells us a deacon should only have one wife.

The “sense” in this is that it is following the directions laid out in scripture.

God Bless,


If a Deacon is ordained single he cannot marry at that point. He has to get married before he joins the permanent deaconate. I believe there is a 2 or 3 year minimum gap between marriage and becoming a deacon.


Once a man receives the sacrament of Holy Orders he cannot marry. In the case of deacons, they can be ordained after they are married, but they can’t do it the other way around.

Basically, receiving Holy Orders is an impediment to marriage.


No, there is no common sense explanation for this rule. It is simply a rule set down by the Curia. The concept set forth by a previous poster that Holy Orders is an impediment to Holy Matrimony is laughable. The idea that a person called to the married state who wants to serve as a deacon is all of a sudden no longer called by God to be married is ludicrous.
Just let the fact stand that someone established a rule and that we have to live with it no matter how silly it is.
Note that the “mortal sin” of eating meat on Friday is no longer in force because someone changed the rule.



Some might find this discussion interesting…


Right, and the fact the scripture is interpreted as saying it is just an odd occurance and has nothing to do with the rule:rolleyes:


Umm, wasn’t the mortal sin tied to disobeying the lawful rule of the Church?

Perhaps you need to create a sneering smiley so as to avoid resorting to scare quotes when you disagree with the notion of mortal sin.

One presumes that you find the notion that everybody make their own silly rules preferable as a basis for piety.


Why is it laughable? That’s what Canon Law says under the category of “Specific Diriment Impediments”:

Can. 1087 Those in sacred orders invalidly attempt marriage.

Hence someone who has been ordained – like a deacon – cannot marry in the Catholic church.


Yes, there really is. You simply cannot have a leader of the Church shopping around for his next wife.

With that said, I’m curious: if a married man who was ordained to the permanent deaconate becomes a widower, can he then (children notwithstanding) become a priest?



No, after all, he is a PERMANENT Deacon.


I don’t believe this is correct. My understanding is that there is only one Order of Deacon, and that the terms “Permanent” and “Transitional” are terms of art that differentiate between men for whom the diaconate is a stable vocation, vs. men who will be ordained to the priesthood.

I recall reading of at least one widower “permanent” deacon who was in fact ordained to the priesthood. I believe the impediments are not canonical so much as they would relate to likely advanced age, ability to successfully undertake priestly studies, needs of any children, willingness of an Ordinary to support and incardinate a man in his 50’s or 60’s, etc.


Let me set the record straight.

Deacons can remarry, but they need Rome’s permission.

We had a deacon who’s wife passed away, and he set about to remarry in about six months, it seems.

His name is George Keller, in the Diocese of Saginaw, Michigan.

This might have been six years ago, at least. Yeah, there was a whole write up about this, because of what it took for him to do it.

I never checked, but you may even be able to do a search on his name, for the story about it.
No, it just doesn’t pop up. The other thing is, Keller left our parish years ago and I don’t know what became of him.


I believe he can, but it would not be an automatic step. The formation for a deacon is far different from that for a priest, so the deacon would need to go to a seminary to study theology like any other candidate for the priesthood.

I was Googling around and found a story that mentioned a widowed deacon who became a priest.

DETROIT � The Archdiocese of Detroit’s three new priests include its first-ever full-blooded Native American and its first-ever widowed grandfather permanent deacon to be ordained a priest, as well as the son of another permanent deacon.

Read the whole story]

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