Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Sends Greeting to IDC Jubilee Participants
Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Expresses Support for Permanent Diaconate Worldwide
Dear Protector of the International Diaconate Centre, dear Brother in the Episcopate, Msgr. Gebhard Fürst,
dear President Klaus Kiessling,
dear Members of the Board and Delegates,
dear Deacons, Wives of Deacons and persons in charge of the initial and permanent formation of deacons,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I send you my cordial greetings, wishing you the strength coming from God for your congress. Klaus Kiessling tried, in many creative ways, to offer me, in spite of everything, the possibility to participate in your congress. Unfortunately, I cannot keep my promise – made, in its time, with a lot of motivation and conviction – to give you my lecture. The reason is that Pope Francis entrusted me with many special tasks for these very days. This is something I couldn’t have foreseen.
I regret very much the fact that I cannot be with you, given that my connections, both personal and of substance, with the International Diaconate Centre are very strong. Many years ago I gave the festive lecture on the occasion of the inauguration of the “Diaconia Christi Internationalis Foundation”. With some of the participating deacons, I have collaborated very closely and
effectively for years on end.
Among the Church’s ordained ministries, the deacons are the group which has witnessed the biggest increase in a sustainable and even rapid fashion.
Therefore, it is extremely important to continually develop the profile of the permanent diaconate in view of the enormous changes taking place in our society as well as in our Church; this development must be spiritual and appropriate for daily life.
Jesus himself is the first deacon, he acted in a way which should be characteristic for deacons today, helpful and close to each other.
The diaconal existence is a “downward career”, in which one has to go to those whose life and survival is difficult. For a vast majority of deacons, this ministry has a two‐fold sacramentality: the Ordination and the Marriage.
This two‐fold sacramentality has to be underscored even more in these days in which the Synod on the Family is taking place. It also entails a specific task in favour of the poor, marginalized or failed families.
I regret very much not being able to accompanying you other than by these words of greeting. I will support all the more, very resolutely, the future continued development of the permanent diaconate on a world‐wide scale.
For your congress, I wish you the strength coming from God, the Holy Spirit, pure and in fullness.
I send you my cordial greetings, God bless you all!
+ Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga