Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: What is the ecclesial understanding of the role of the Permanent Diaconate in the contemporary Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, with specific reference to Southwark Province?
Author: Stringer, Bridie
Awarding Body: St Mary's University College
Current Institution: St Mary's University, Twickenham
Date of Award: 2010
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This research has been conducted against the backdrop of the Second Vatican Council's "People of God" motif. The term "ecclesial" in the title embraces both lay faithful and clergy, although the lens through which their views are gauged is that of the deacon. The empirical findings of the research have been derived from fifty-three deacons of Southwark Province who completed narrative questionnaires about their collective six hundred years of experience in ordained ministry. The research methodology was mainly qualitative, using an adapted grounded theory approach to explore the themes which emerged from the respondents' own testimonies. These included discernment of their vocations, their formation programmes, what helped or hindered them in their early days of ministry and how they were received by their parish priests and their communities. As a theological consideration of the permanent diaconate, the project points to : * a richer scriptural interpretation of diakonia than a simplistic reading of Acts 6 * an understanding of the episcopate as the "fullness of order" from which are extended the two "arms" of the bishop's pastoral oversight - diaconate and presbyterate * a praxis which reflects the diaconate as a unique and full order The chief findings of the research are as follows: * Whilst formation for deacons has become theologically more robust over the past decade, there remain gaps in ongoing formation, both theologically and pastorally and an underdeveloped structure for the deacon to be properly supervised in his ministry. * The pastoral role of the deacon's wife remains unclear. Although, in the main, she is an animator of her husband's witness and compensates for his lack of time with the family, there is little evidence that the concept of "diaconal marriage", as a basis for joint ministry, is devloping. * The discipline of celibacy for widower deacons reflects a limited and sacerdotal understanding of what it means to be a sacred minister in Holy Orders. Although dispensations for remarriage are possible, these exceptional concessions may restrict the theological unfolding of the concept of diaconal marriage. * The continued exclusion of women from ordained ministry remains problematical for some. However, Pope Benedict's recent moto proprio "Omnium in Mentem" may signal future opportunities for a more diverse ordained diaconal ministry.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: 248 Christian experience, practice & life ; 262 Ecclesiology ; 282 Roman Catholic Church