Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Sunday 17 January |
Saint of the Day: St. Anthony of Egypt

“Deacons aren’t just decaffeinated priests”

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 07/23/15


That’s the eye-catching headline in the UK’s The Tablet, which calls for a reconsideration of marriage and Holy Orders. Snip:

Those who are unmarried at the time of ordination, including widowers, must vow themselves to celibacy thereafter. In the words of the presiding bishop: “By this consecration you will adhere more easily to Christ with an undivided heart.” The subtext of this might be read as a suggestion that the married men about to be similarly ordained do have divided hearts. That their family life and marriage are perhaps regarded as somehow second-best. There is of course the possibility, that, on the decease of his wife, the deacon might consider a vocation to the priesthood but I would hope that bishops would show the utmost compassion and sensitivity in making such an approach to a deacon in mourning. Those who are called to married life and are inspirational and ethical professionals in the commercial world may not be the best candidates for life as presbyters. Deacons bring witness and ministry into the workplace and the public square in a way that priests and bishops cannot. Deacons are the only rank of ordained clergy permitted to have secular professional and civic roles. So, in effect, rather than trying to squeeze deacons into a traditional presbyteral mould that may not suit their gifts, a deeper appraisal of Holy Orders is called for. Now seems an opportune time to undertake such an exercise, acknowledging the presence of God in marriage, family life, celibacy, the workplace, civic life – in fact, we need to re-evaluate how best to be Christ to the world.

Read more. 

For the record: I almost never drink decaf. I’m fully caffeinated. Just ask my wife (shown above, earning her halo as the long-suffering deacon’s wife…)

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Cerith Gardiner
Meet the dad who's teaching basic skills on Y...
Bret Thoman, OFS
An exorcist teaches 4 steps to forgive
Philip Kosloski
What is the Holy Cloak of St. Joseph?
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful...
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Why God loves ordinary stuff: Pope Francis' r...
POPE FRANCIS; Ash Wednesday
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Vatican: Imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday...
Cerith Gardiner
Meet the family of 12 siblings with a very sp...
See More