Jun 6, 2005

L.A.'s new 'deacon couples'



Sr. y Sra. Diácono/Mr. and Mrs. Deacon

THE TIDINGS reports ...

"Cardinal Roger M. Mahony will ordain 11 permanent diaconate candidates to the Sacred Order of Deacon on June 11 at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. Their ordination will bring to nearly 250 the number of permanent deacons serving in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles."

"Those to be ordained and their wives have undergone a four-year formation period of study, service and prayer in preparation for their new ministry, for which they will be assigned to their home parishes. Following are brief profiles of the new deacon couples."

Women deacons are practically a reality in L.A. What? You still don't believe me? Then go HERE.

12 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will say that this is standard - most permanent diaconate programs require the spouse to be involved as well. I always thought it was to make sure that this was a joint decision, and not the would-be deacon trying to play priest, etc.

1:12 PM  
Anonymous Xochilt said...

I live in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and have attended Masses in various venues. I have never seen a wife of a deacon vested in alb and stole. However, I have seen the wives join their deacon husbands in the liturgical procession (which is not correct, liturgically speaking). I have also seen wives of deacons (as well as other non-ordained, including women religious and seminarians) preach the homily at Mass (which is also expressly forbidden).

I know a "deacon couple" from L.A. and they are fine, well meaning folks, but poorly formed. They both said that they were taught in their formation that the Church will ordain women deacons within their lifetimes. It was a few years ago (I don't remember how many) that he was ordained.

L.A. really is the place. I have watched the postings on this site for a while now and none of it is made up.

3:22 PM  
Blogger Philip said...

I dont get it... how can Cardinal Roger M. Mahony get away with all of this. In fact, I am surprised he is even a Cardinal.

11:12 PM  
Anonymous David C said...

Actually, most permanent diaconate programs DO NOT require the wife to take classes. Not in the mid-west. Not in San Diego. I could see a wife taking a few classes... but all? I know that this has discouraged some men who would otherwise be deacons. Their wives say, "Why should I take all of the classes when I'm not the one becoming a deacon? And I've got kids to care for!"

1:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

She looks a bit defensive, doesn't she? "What do you mean I can't be a deacon? Yes I can! I already am!"

9:28 PM  
Anonymous Alfredo said...

It's obvious who wears the pants in that family.

6:47 AM  
Anonymous Rudy said...

I guess the LA Church should be referred as the First Church of Antichrist.

1:59 PM  
Blogger Todd said...

In the four or five dioceses I've lived in, those with permanent deacon formation studies always included the wives. There were a number of deacons and wives graduating when I finished my MA seventeen years ago. Not every diocese does it, but this is not news, my friends.

1:39 PM  
Blogger Quintero said...

At the very least, this inclusion of deacons' wives in every single aspect of the formation program does blur the distinction between clergy and laity, something which John Paul II often spoke.

It also obviously has people confused because in the Archdiocese of L.A. there are "deacon couples" engaging in "team preaching." This is clearly wrong and all the latest liturgical documents make this point.

6:14 AM  
Blogger Todd said...

Quintero, the inclusion of deacons' wives might also be a witness for the sacrament of marriage. Given that these wives are exclusively women, I'm sure nearly any observer would realize the difference between clergy and laity. No pope has yet to speak out against women being involved in diaconate formation with their husbands, so the matter, for now, is a pmatter of prudence to be determined by the local bishop.

Lay preaching, until recently, used to be under the authority of the local bishop. The Curia has taken back that determination the past few years. I can't say I'm unsympathetic to your bishop's stance, but he would be clearly at odds with the prevailing Roman view, no question. Of course, the Vatican has also been silent on the phenomenon that some lay people are simply better preachers that clergy.

It seems there are more clear cases of liturgical concern than this.

10:12 AM  
Blogger Quintero said...

Prior to the new GIRM and REDEMPTIONIS SACRAMENTUM, lay preaching (in normal circumstances) was definitely NOT allowed. These new documents, especially the latter, simply underscored an already existing norm which unfortunately was and still is ignored in some sectors of the Church (e.g., L.A.).

6:09 PM  
Blogger Thom said...

I'm studying to become a deacon in a diocese in the Northeast. My wife was required to attend classes the first year (aspirancy); after that, she was free to attend or not.

It is very much a dual vocation, requiring commitment and sacrifice from both the deacon candidate and his wife. (The wife must give her written, formal consent to the bishop before her husband enters candidacy.) Our diocese provides days of recollection and retreats for the wives, and support and fellowship throughout the formation process.

But ultimately, of course, the deacon exercises his ministry alone. I'm not crazy about the "deacon couples" concept. It places undue pressure on the wives, and might make the faithful have unrealistic expectations. It's also misleading -- conferring on the wife a sacrament, or sacramentality, that does not exist.

6:42 PM  

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