Friday, November 20, 2015

Pope Francis addresses Deacons at International Deacon Centre

Dear Brothers in the Diaconate,
dear Brothers in the Presbyterate and Episcopate,
dear wives of deacons,
dear participants in the Jubilee of the International Diaconate Centre,

Bild vergrößern
I send you warm greetings and congratulate you on the 50th anniversary that you are celebrating these days on the occasion of the restoration of the Permanent Diaconate by the Second Vatican Council together with 600 people from 35 countries.  When Cardinal Oswald Gracias told me on behalf of your President Klaus Kießling that you were interested in meeting me, I agreed right away – full of anticipation to receive you.  However now I have to dedicate my full attention to the Synodal processes, so a direct meeting will not be possible during your Jubilee celebration. I regret this very much and look forward to another opportunity.

St Stephen the Protomartyr
exercising the original diaconate
In view of the first International Study Conference on the Permanent Diaconate, Paul VI stated on 25 October 1965: “Surely the Council acted in accordance with a providential inspiration of the Holy Spirit when it decided to renew the original ministry of diaconate at the service of the People of God.” It is in this conviction that I ask you not to relent in your commitment to a diaconal Universal Church and a world of solidarity. You are ambassadors of Jesus Christ who rejects anything related to authority and puts human hierarchies upside down like anyone who serves. You are ambassadors of our incarnate God who shows solidarity up until death and beyond death. You are called to accompany other people on their way to incarnation, in solidarity, everywhere in the world.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for this commitment. At the same time I ask you to accompany me and my ministry with prayer. I also promise to take your concerns to the Lord and cordially impart to you my Apostolic Blessing.

From the Vatican, on 20 October 2015