Basic Norms for the Formation of Permanent Deacons

Congregation for Catholic Education, Basic Norms for the Formation of Permanent Deacons, 22-II-1998

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8. In the exercise of their power, deacons, since they share in a lower grade of ecclesiastical ministry, necessarily depend on the Bishops, who have the fullness of the sacrament of orders. In addition, they are placed in a special relationship with the priests, in communion with whom they are called to serve the People of God.(12)

From the point of view of discipline, with diaconal ordination, the deacon is incardinated into a particular Church or personal prelature to whose service he has been admitted, or else, as a cleric, into a religious institute of consecrated life or a clerical society of apostolic life.(13) Incardination does not represent something which is more or less accidental, but is characteristically a constant bond of service to a concrete portion of the People of God. This entails ecclesial membership at the juridical, affective and spiritual level and the obligation of ministerial service.
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19. In the formation of permanent deacons, the first sign and instrument of the Spirit of Christ is the proper Bishop (or the competent Major Superior).(26) He is the one ultimately responsible for their discernment and formation.(27) While ordinarily exercising this duty through the assistants who have been chosen, nevertheless he will he commit himself, as far as is possible, to knowing personally those who are preparing for diaconate.
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(12) Cf Ecum. Council Vat. II, Decr. Christus Dominus, 15.

(13) Cf C.I.C., can. 266.
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(26) Equivalent to the Diocesan Bishop in this regard are those to whom the following have been entrusted: territorial prelature, territorial abbey, apostolic vicariate, apostolic prefecture and a stably erected apostolic administration (cf C.I.C., cans. 368; 381, § 2) as well as the personal prelature (cf C.I.C., cans. 266, § 1; 295) and the military ordinariate (cf John Paul II, Apost. Const. Spirituali militum curae [21 April 1986], art. I, § 1; art. II, § 1: AAS 78 [1986], pp. 482; 483).

(27) Cf C.I.C., cans. 1025; 1029.
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Full Text:
http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/ccatheduc/documents/rc_con_ccatheduc_doc_31031998_directorium-diaconi_en.html