Scribbles, &c.

Dcn. Bill Ditewig writes about re-thinking the idea of “permanent” and “transitional” as they pertain to the diaconate:

First, we must immediately retire the use of adjectives to describe a deacon as either a “permanent” deacon or a “transitional” deacon. For decades now, scholars and bishops have pointed out that there is only one Order of Deacons, just as there is only one Order of Presbyters and one Order of Bishops. All ordinations are permanent, so calling a deacon a “permanent” one is redundant, and calling a seminarian-deacon a “transitional” deacon is sacramentally wrong. All deacons are permanent. We do not refer to a presbyter who is later ordained a bishop as a “transitional” priest!

I’ve thought about this a fair bit, actually, and it makes a lot of sense. Dropping the terms would be easy enough. There’s only one diaconate, so qualifying it one way or the other seems kind of dumb. Disconnection from the cursus honorum also makes a tremendous amount of sense. Seminarians aren’t discerning the diaconate; they’re discerning the priesthood. The two are formed in different ways for the two very different vocations.