Test your knowledge of the permanent diaconate


1. Deacons are ordained clergy.

2. A married deacon is expected to place the church as a priority above his wife and family.

3. A single or widowed deacon is expected to remain celibate the rest of his life.

4. The deacon is accountable to the bishop of the diocese he serves.

5. Few dioceses in the United States have permanent deacons.


1. True. There are three levels of holy orders in the Catholic Church. The diaconate is the first level (the others are priests and bishops).

2. False. A married man who is ordained a deacon is expected to honor his first commitment in the sacrament of marriage.

3. True. Single men ordained to the diaconate, whether preparing for the priesthood or not, must take a vow of celibacy. They are not allowed to marry. Deacons who are widowed must also observe the norm of celibacy.

4. True. Only the bishop is allowed to ordain a priest or a deacon. Thus, the deacon has a direct relationship to the bishop. It is the responsibility of the bishop to ensure that deacons are placed in parishes and ministries.

5. False. According to a 2010 study, every American diocese except one has permanent deacons. There are more than 17,000 permanent deacons in the United States.

Catholic Review

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.