From the Indystar
By Robert King
Photo by Danese Kenon
Emphases and (comments) mine - BW
The Archdiocese of Indianapolis, cut from the wilderness nearly 175 years ago, turned a new page in its long history today when it restored an ancient office of the church that has lain largely dormant for Roman Catholics since the Dark Ages.
Twenty-five men — all but one married (celibate) and most grandfathers — were ordained this morning as deacons of the church. Aside from men on their way to becoming priests, it’s an office Catholics had abandoned until the 1970s. (Great news!)
Deacons are familiar to Protestants, but in the Catholic faith, they are a notch below priests but more than the average parishioner. (This is just about the strangest way I've heard someone write about the Diaconate.) Catholic deacons are vested the authority to conduct baptisms, weddings and funerals, preach at Mass and lead prayer services. Unlike priests, though, they may not hear confessions, anoint the sick and consecrate the Eucharistic bread and wine.
“We aren’t clergy and we are not lay people,” said Mike East, one of the newly ordained deacons. “We walk with a foot in each role.” (I hate to point out an error made by the newly ordained deacon, but Deacons are in fact clergy. Holy Orders, of which the Diaconate is one, by their very nature make one a member of the clergy.)
Read the rest of the article here.
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