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authority and responsibility “should always be clearly specified in writ ing when they are assigned office.” 24

53. Where the diocesan bishop has deemed it opportune to institute parish pastoral councils, deacons who exercise pastoral care in a parish are members of the council by right. 25

Relationship with the Priesthood

54. Deacons exercise their ministry in communion not only with their dioc esan bishop but also with the priests who serve the diocesan Church. As collaborators in ministry, priests and deacons are two complementary but subordinate participants in the one apostolic ministry bestowed by Christ upon the Apostles and their successors. The diaconate is not an abridged or substitute form of the priesthood; it is a full order in its own right. 26 Those who are constituted in the order of the episcopate or the presbyterate receive the mission and capacity to act in the person of Christ the Head, whereas deacons are empowered to serve the People of God in the ministries of the liturgy, the word, and charity. 27 55. Priests and deacons are bonded closely together in their common min istry of the Word. All deacons receive the Holy Gospels from the dioc esan bishop on their ordination day.This powerful sign of cooperation with the ministry of the diocesan bishop, and its connection to Christ’s own mandate (Lk 24:45-49) places the ministry of deacon and priest within a shared communion of obedience to and love of the Word, which together they labor to proclaim. It is laudatory for priests and deacons to deepen their communion, as brothers in Holy Orders, by way of their shared prayer and reflection on the Word of God. 28 56. Permanent deacons ought to foster fraternal bonds with transitional deacons.Through formal contacts arranged by the diocesan diaconate

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