Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Today's deacon: restoration and renewal

Three days and some 18 pages later, I emerge from many hours of working on my master's thesis. I know that the right time does not always come by my merely summoning it. So, these have been three days of great enjoyment, finally setting forth what has been brewing in my mind for the past three years. Anyway, I came across this today in the book, which I read shortly after being ordained, From the Diakonia of Christ to the Diakonia of the Apostles, a document on the diaconate by the International Theological Commission, which is under the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith:

Deacon Dennis Jebber, of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, assisting in the celebration of the Divine Liturgy

"In three places, Vatican II uses different terms to describe what it intends to do when it speaks of the diaconate as a stable rank of the hierarchy of the Church. Lumen Gentium 29b uses the notion of restitutio, Ad Gentes 16f uses that of restauratio, while Orientalium Ecclesiarum 17 employs instauratio. All three connote the idea of restoring, renewing, re-establishing, and re-activating" (pg 65).

I think this means today's diaconate is not merely restored, but renewed and reactivated, an animating force in today's church.

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