This timely book provides the general reader with a clear, succinct introduction to the diaconate and addresses the perplexing and commonly-asked questions and myths that have been raised about deacons, their sacramental identity, their functions, and their relationships. Although the position of deacon was commonplace in the early church, the order became a transitional one from the 6th century until Vatican II reinstated the post of "permanent" deacon in the late 1960s. Since then, the diaconate rapidly became the fastest growing of all church vocations. While many Catholics are aware of deacons, most have very little idea why the diaconate was renewed as a permanent order of ordained ministry or even why deacons exist! In addition, more than 90% of deacons are married, which adds to the confusion of Catholics who have only experienced a celibate clergy. Now they are presented with a predominantly married clergy involved in the leadership and service of the Church. This book answers such commonly asked questions as:
Deacon William T. Ditewig, PhD, is the Executive Director of the Secretariat for the Diaconate at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, DC. He was ordained a deacon for the Archdiocese of Washington in 1990. He holds a Ph.D. from the School of Theology and Religious Studies at the Catholic University of America, and is a retired Commander from the United States Navy.