National Directory



This technology provides one format for distance learning and is usually available to organizations and institutions as a public service. Some dio ceses in the United States of America make good use of this technology. 277. Another rapidly developing distance-learning format is the online seminar. Through the accessibility of the Internet, online seminars and courses in theological, pastoral, and religious studies are being expanded and offer quality programming at a reasonable cost to the participant.These courses are offered at undergraduate, graduate, and adult extension levels through Catholic colleges and universities in the United States of America and throughout the world. If a distance- learning format is incorporated into the diocesan program for part of the intellectual and pastoral dimensions in formation, it is the responsibility of the diocesan bishop to verify that the course of study offered fulfills the requirements of the Basic Norms for the Formation of Permanent Deacons , the Directory for the Ministry and Life of Permanent Deacons , and this National Directory . The course must be complete, be in harmony with magisterial teaching, and be taught by a competent instructor. Of particular interest in distance learning is the availability on the Internet of major theological libraries and research centers throughout the world. A valuable resource in this regard is the website of the Congregation for the Clergy, . 5 278. Although coming together as a diaconal formation community is essential, distance learning can be a powerful instrument that supports a family perspective in diaconal formation, as well as an adult’s capac ity for self-formation with professional guidance. III. The Role of the Diocesan Bishop in Diaconate Formation 279. In the formation of deacons, “the first sign and instrument of the Spirit of Christ is the proper Bishop. . . . He is the one ultimately responsible

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