On May 24, Pope Francis, through the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, overturned the prohibition to ordinate permanent deacons in the Diocese of San Cristobal de la Casas, Chiapas. During the pontificate of John Paul II, 14 years ago, such ordinations had been prohibited.
Bishop Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel celebrated this news, acknowledging that “taking into account the shortage of priestly vocations, deacons are a good choice for the Catholic Church because they can perform marriages, baptisms, proclaim the Gospel, preside at funerals, although they are not authorized to forgive sins and to consecrate. Deacons are not priests, so they can be married or unmarried; priests on the contrary commit to celibacy. Vatican II restored the diaconate ministry in the Catholic Church. “
Bishop Arizmendi recalled that in 2000 the Vatican prohibited the Diocese of San Cristobal to order more permanent deacons, “because it had serious reservations about the large number of them, compared with the relatively small number of priests. It was feared that to have many deacons and few priests did not correspond to a more comprehensive ecclesiasticism, as proposed by the Second Vatican Council. “
For more information (in Spanish):
Arizmendi: Roma autorizó ordenar más diáconos permanentes, La Jornada, 25 de mayo de 2014
Levanta el Papa prohibición de ordenar diáconos en San Cristóbal de las Casas, La Jornada, 26 de mayo de 2014
Santa Sede levanta prohibición de ordenar diáconos permanentes a la diócesis de San Cristóbal de Las Casas, El Observador, 28 de mayo de 2014
Vaticano aprueba “Directorio del Diaconado Permanente de los Pueblos Indígenas”, chiapasparalelo, 13 de diciembre de 2013