Traditionalists (SSPX & orthodox N.O.): what do you think of the Permanent Diaconate?

Although some may think that the Diaconate is an invention of Vatican II, deacons have been part of the Church since the earliest centuries. The Diaconate is one of the three “major orders” of the Church. The other two are the Presbyterate (priests), and the Episcopate (bishops). All share one common thing that laymen do not: the sacrament of Holy Orders.

Traditionalists (SSPX and orthodox N.O.): what do you think of the Permanent Diaconate?

Do you recognize the legitimacy of the office of the Diaconate?

Do you perceive deacons as “priests-lite”, or perhaps as men not cut out for the “full” priesthood?

Overall, is the Diaconate a net benefit or a net liability to the Church? For example, is the Church better off with the Diaconate since it attracts men who for whatever reason may not aspire to the Presbyterate? Or, do you see the Diaconate as harmful to priestly vocations since it may siphon off some potential priestly aspirants?

Although I’m not a full-blown traditionalist I am much more traditional in mindset than many Catholics, so I’ll take this on from my perspective. First off, if Holy Mother Church says the permanent diaconate is legitimate, I can’t really disagree with her. I mean, it’s not like this got invented out of the blue. It had just been underground for a while.
I do think the permanent diaconate offers a sort of compromise position for those who are having trouble discerning married or priestly life. It’s very attractive to think that you can “enjoy” the married life while still being a cleric, even if not able to confect the Eucharist. While that is a potential pitfall, the permanent diaconate has also opened the door for a rediscovery of the diaconal charism of service as well as a utilization of the devotion of men who may have legitimately had a vocation to both priestly and married life. The legitimacy of married Eastern Rite priests demonstrates the possiblity of such a dual vocation (although a more hardcore Traditionalist might very well disagree with me there).

[quote=lepanto] Traditionalists (SSPX and orthodox N.O.): what do you think of the Permanent Diaconate?
[/quote]

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?
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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?
[/quote]

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?
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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?
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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?
[/quote]

No, I don’t see this at all.

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