erection of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham
The supreme law
of the Church is the salvation of souls. As such, throughout its history, the
Church has always found the pastoral and juridical means to care for the good
of the faithful.
With the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus,
promulgated on 4 November 2009, the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, provided
for the establishment of Personal ordinariates through which Anglican faithful
may enter, even in a corporate manner, into full communion with the Catholic
Church. On the same date, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
published Complementary Norms relating to such Ordinariates.
The lay –and married– canon lawyer Ed Peters wrote a piece indicating the permanent deacons are to be sexually abstinent (continent) permanently. This is the teaching and law of the Church. Men in studies seeking ordination to the Diaconate, that is, to be a permanent deacon, should have been taught this by the formators but lets concede the fact that those in charge of the diaconate program skipped or mis-represented the Church’s teaching in this matter. It is widely seen, however, to an unenforceable church law. Ed Peters quotes the phrase, “perfect and perpetual” from Canon 277 §1 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law to explain the behavior of the permanent deacon. The first premise is paragraph 1, even with the presence of a possible dispensation seen in paragraph 3. The expectation is that all clerics are sexually continent. Conclusion: all men called to holy orders are expected to refrain from sex! The Catholic Church doesn’t have a double standard, one for priests and one for deacons. For the 15K deacons in the USA: amend your life.