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He concludes by reminding us that the diaconate, like any of the Holy Orders, is a vocation from God. That tells us something. On the surface, this makes sense. Priests can celebrate the sacraments, specifically the Eucharist. And without the Eucharist there is no Church.


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  • Fr. Z, St. Ignatius and the Constitution of the Church.

Ergo, priests are a necessary part of the ontology of the Church. The Church can get by without deacons as Fr. Z said she did for centuries prior to Vatican II , but she cannot get by without priests. All of the above makes sense… but there is more to it than meets the eye. First, while it is true that the Church in the West did not have permanent deacons for many centuries, as Fr. When asking whether the Church needs permanent deacons, we are asking whether the Church needs men who are deacons and not also priests.

Second, we must question the assertion that priests as such are existentially necessary for the Church. It is true, priests can celebrate the Eucharist, without which there is no Church. The Church needs priests. So how do we get priests? Priests cannot ordain other priests. Only bishops can ordain. If we are looking at the three degrees of Holy Orders and asking which is existentially necessary for the Church?

Bishops are the successors of the Apostles. They possess in their person the fullness of the sacrament of Holy Orders and the full share of Apostolic ministry. Every bishop is also a priest and a deacon. A bishop can not only baptize as can a deacon, or even a lay person in emergency , celebrate the Eucharist and hear confessions as a priest , he can also ordain men into holy orders, thus guaranteeing the continuity of the Catholic Church. Looked at from a certain perspective, since every bishop is first ordained a deacon and then a priest, and bishops are existentially necessary to the Church, one could argue that deacons are also existentially necessary to the Church.

But deacons alone and priests alone are not sufficient. What is necessary is the fullness of Holy Orders. If some catastrophe were to leave the Church with only a single deacon, or a single priest, the Church would die when he did. But as long as we have one bishop even a poorly formed one , the Church could be reborn from that single seed. This is because God always acts from freedom. In other words, there is no force greater than God acting upon His will.

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Everything God does, he does freely, not out of need. This includes how he chooses to establish the Church. One of the fundamental things we Catholics believe about the sacraments is that they are divinely instituted. The Church does not invent them. This is just as true of the sacrament of Holy Orders as it is any other sacrament.

It is a dogmatic teaching of the Church that the sacrament of Holy Orders consists of three orders — deacon, priest and bishop. God did not need to establish the Church in this way — he could have established the Church any way he pleased — but that he did is a dogmatic teaching of the Church. Granted, it took some time to figure this out. Before Trent, just what orders were considered sacramental was a matter of some debate.

Recall that prior to , clerics passed through several orders, some minor and some major. The minor orders were porter , lector, exorcist and acolyte. The major orders were subdeacon , deacon , and priest.

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Everyone understood that the minor orders were instituted orders, and not sacramental. Everyone understood that the priesthood was sacramental. Things were less clear when it came to the subdiaconate and the diaconate. Most would argue that the subdiaconate was not sacramental, while the diaconate was. But this was not universally acknowledged and not clearly defined. And really it was not a matter of great urgency for the Church, as just about everyone ordained to the diaconate was just a few months away from being ordained a priest, which definitely was sacramental.

As an interesting point, the sacramentality of the episcopacy was also debated.

When one is ordained a bishop, does one actually receive a sacred order? Or is a bishop just a priest with territorial jurisdiction?

These are important questions when it comes to understanding the constitution of the Church. And it was exactly the constitution of the Church that was being called into question by the Protestant Reformation. Therefore this question was finally put to rest by the Council of Trent, and reaffirmed by Vatican I and Vatican II the latter of which re-instituted the diaconate as a permanent order within the Church.

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Holy Orders is the sacrament through which the mission entrusted by Christ to his apostles continues to be exercised in the Church until the end of time: thus it is the sacrament of apostolic ministry. It includes three degrees: episcopate, presbyterate, and diaconate CCC The divinely instituted ecclesiastical ministry is exercised in different degrees by those who even from ancient times have been called bishops, priests, and deacons Lumen Gentium Bishops, as successors of the Apostles, have the fullness of this ministry.

Priests and deacons are given a share of it, to different degrees. Z points out, that the Apostles ordained deacons before they ordained priests see Acts 6. In the earliest days of the Church, the clergy consisted of bishops and deacons. For example, in St. Priests, as a permanent ministry, were not necessary in these early days because every priest was also a bishop.

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The bishops needed helpers, and so they ordained deacons. But they did not need others to celebrate the Eucharist for them, as the Church was small enough that local churches could still gather around their bishop for the celebration of the sacraments. Aged - 2, 3, 4 years old. Hours: am - 12 noon. Monday - Friday. Advisory Board: Brenda Craw We stay busy until early evening.

Youth meet in classroom across from Seekers near Fellowship Hall. Contact church office or Louis at louissampson gmail. We are so excited on how our children's ministry continues to grow. We always need children's Shepard - not to teach the class but be here to assist the teacher. If interested contact Jamie Hill at jamieb yahoo. God bless, Jamie Hill.

Kid Central is down main hallway from Church's Admin Wing. It can also be reached off Walker Drive. You simply pay for the needed materials, UMM asks that a love offering to the church as you are led instead of paying the labor costs. Contact Stevie Bowen or church office. Miss Terry's - Oct. October is domestic violence awareness month in the U. Please wear something purple on Sunday, October 27th a ribbon or other item and gather following the service to take a picture.

Tuesdays and Thursdays am. Thursdays am. Wednesdays pm. Tuesdays am. Fridays at 10am. The Life Group concept is based upon the meeting format utilized early in the church renewal movement we now know as Methodism.