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454Catholic-Oriental Orthodox dialogue discusses deacons

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  • Thomas Daniel
    Jun 28, 2003
      2003.06.27 CNS:

      Catholic-Oriental Orthodox dialogue discusses deacons

      WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Deacons and deaconesses were the main topic of
      discussion at a June 9-10 meeting of the U.S. Oriental Orthodox-Roman
      Catholic Consultation. Meeting at St. Nersess Armenian Seminary in
      New Rochelle, N.Y., the group June 9 heard brief presentations from
      representatives of each church on the theology and practice of the
      diaconate in that church, including limited use of deaconesses in
      some of the Oriental Orthodox churches. Generally, according to a
      news release on the meeting released June 26 by the communications
      office of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, in the first
      millennium all the participating churches experienced deacons as
      vital ministers working closely with bishops, with special emphasis
      on social and administrative duties. By the start of the second
      millennium, however, in most of the churches diaconate had become
      largely a transitional state preceding ordination to the priesthood.
      While the churches held a common understanding that deacons share in
      the sacrament of orders along with priests and bishops, each
      tradition had unique developments in its practice.