[quote=Karl Keating]This first post in this thread may refer to my comments on the December 6 edition of “Catholic Answers Live.”
Yes, the custom was that a couple would have to agree to live continently if the husband were to be ordained. If either party disagreed, then he could not be ordained.
Ordination was considered to be the higher sacrament, and so certain elements of matrimony were set aside, so to speak.
On the air I referred to Christian Cochini’s book, which gives ample documentation.
As for modern times, I know of at least one convert priest who indeed, with his wife, has vowed to live continently after ordination. (He had been a Protestant minister and was ordained under the Pastoral Provision.)
Frankly, I think the old custom ought to be followed today. This goes for permanent deacons too. Until Paul VI’s reform, if a married man were ordained a deacon (usually on the way to priestly ordination), he and his wife had to agree to a life of continence.
At the very least, a return to the old custom would limit candidates for the diaconate to the very serious, which I think would be good. To my mind, we have too many deacons–or, at least, too many who are badly trained and too many who seem disinclined to learn.
I believe you are very sincere about your thoughts of the Diaconate, but I do hope you are wrong. I don’t know much about the diaconate where you are, but our deacons are wonderful Godly men here at my parish. Unfortunately the 2 deacons we have at my parish are very suddenly in poor health. I would hope that a requirement like that wouldn’t deter some of the men of my parish from responding to a call from our Lord.