[quote=lepanto] Traditionalists (SSPX and orthodox N.O.): what do you think of the Permanent Diaconate?
I’m not sure how to answer this. I think the permanent diaconate would be unnecessary if there were more priests. I’m much more comfortable receiving Holy Communion from an ordained Deacon than I am from an extraordinary minister of the Eucharist.
[quote=lepanto] Do you recognize the legitimacy of the office of the Diaconate?
Of course. As Andreas said:
First off, if Holy Mother Church says the permanent diaconate is legitimate, I can’t really disagree with her.
[quote=lepanto] Do you perceive deacons as “priests-lite”, or perhaps as men not cut out for the “full” priesthood?
No. I see it as an entirely different ministry from the priesthood. Consequently, I would not view the permanent diaconate with any reference to the priesthood, but rather in the light of its own particular charism.
[quote=lepanto]Overall, is the Diaconate a net benefit or a net liability to the Church?
That depends. First of all, Catholics need to be adequately catechized to understand the proper role of the permanent deacon. Additionally, permanent deacons should be required to under much the same education as seminarians who are going to be ordained as deacons. All too often I’ve heard of deacons who give advice or make pronouncements that are counter to Church teaching. A deacon of this type is as big a liability to the Church as a dissident priest or rebellious nun.
[quote=lepanto]For example, is the Church better off with the Diaconate since it attracts men who for whatever reason may not aspire to the Presbyterate?
I think the Church is better off with the diaconate because priests need the company and companionship of other men. As a man myself (at least the last time I checked…) I can honestly say that the company and friendship of other men is a great benefit to one’s spiritual, mental, and emotional health.
[quote=lepanto]Or, do you see the Diaconate as harmful to priestly vocations since it may siphon off some potential priestly aspirants?
No, I don’t see this at all.