Saturday, September 28, 2019

Fr. Z's Opinion on Deacons

ASK FATHER: Are permanent deacons necessary?

An excerpt, but the whole is worth considering.

With the shortage of priests in these USA at least, one can see how having deacons who can help with Communion calls and so forth, sacramental prep, service at the altar for solemn worship is desirable. Frankly, I wish I had a couple of permanent deacons around whom I could train up for Solemn Masses. That would make my life a lot easier.

It seem to me that, while priests are existentially necessary for the life of the Church (e.g. Mass, confessions, anointing), and permanent deacons are not in the same way necessary (e.g. they do none of those), having them in service depends a great deal on both the urgency of the need and the quality of formation. That isn’t very definite, I know. First, every cleric ought to be well-formed.

We can’t do without priests, and so we can get on with priests who aren’t so sharp. But we can get along very well without deacons who aren’t so sharp.

Are they necessary? Well… it depends. It depends on if you want to work priests into their early graves and it depends on the level of formation.

Lastly, reception of Holy Orders means that there was a vocation from God to be ordained. We humans can and do get in the middle of that through formation programs, etc. However, God’s involvement means that if permanent deacons are necessary, then they are going, somehow, to be ordained, just as a flower finds purchase and manages to spring up in the crack of a sidewalk. I cannot pass any sort of judgment on God’s role in this matter of the permanent diaconate.

One of the first things that the Apostles did was choose men for the diaconate. That tells us something.

If the same conditions pertain in our day, deacons will be necessary for us just as for the Apostles. Circumstances play a role, and we can discern something of God’s will in the circumstances, as the Apostles did.

Cardinal Sarah Visits the Monastère Saint-Benoît

More photos

Thursday, September 26, 2019

A Latin Defense of Transubstantiation

1P5: Substance and Accidents: A Beginner’s Guide to Defending the Eucharist

Both the application of substance and substance/accident as applied to bread must first be corrected, and then we can see if verbally, the theologoumenon that is transubstantiation can still be maintained. Regardless, a naive application of Aristotelian-Thomistic metaphysics is no longer viable given how sophisticated received opinion on material reality has become.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Action Versus Contemplation: Why An Ancient Debate Still Matters

Blakey Vermeule (Stanford University), Jennifer Summit (San Francisco State University), Lisa Ruddick (University of Chicago), and Fr. Peter Funk, OSB (Monastery of the Holy Cross), on Vermeule and Summit's book Action Versus Contemplation: Why An Ancient Debate Still Matters (University of Chicago Press, 2018)

Fr. Rutler and the John Paul II Institute

Crisis: How to Write Your Own Encyclical by Fr. George W. Rutler