National Directory



the new wife’s written informed consent to his exercise of diaconal ministry should be sought before the marriage. Additional time will be required for the formation of a stable relationship in the new mar riage; therefore, a suitable period of time is required before the deacon resumes active ministry. 81. A similar sensitivity also should be given to the widow of a deacon, because she shared so intimately in her husband’s life and ministerial witness. The diocesan bishop and her pastor, as well as the diaconal and parish communities, should extend appropriate and adequate sup port in her bereavement. Widows of deacons ought to remain con nected with the diaconal community, not only because of support and encouragement, but because of the unique bonds that had been forged by virtue of her husband’s ordination. 82. If a divorce between a deacon and his wife happens, suitable pasto ral care should be offered to the deacon, his wife, and their children. This pastoral care, which may be facilitated by the Director of the Permanent Diaconate or any other qualified person on behalf of the diocesan bishop, should include ample time to work through the var ious stages of grieving and adjustment caused by divorce. The deter mination of the divorced deacon’s ministerial status will require sen sitivity and prudence on the part of the diocesan bishop, the pastor or pastoral supervisor, the ministerial community, and other institutions in which the deacon serves. After such beneficial consultation, it is the responsibility of the diocesan bishop then to determine the divorced deacon’s ministerial status, in accord with the principles and proce dures outlined in paragraph 44, above. Members of the diaconal com munity are also in a unique position to reach out, as appropriate, in order to help the divorced couple and family deal with the challenges the divorce may entail. A Deacon and Family Confronting Divorce

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