Deacon loses job because he remarries and breaks rules

Deacon loses job because he remarries and breaks rules

The nice thing about being an op-ed columnist, as opposed to a reporter, is that you don’t have to present the whole story or an unbiased report. At least that’s how Boston Globe columnist Brian McGrory seems to approach it. Today he takes a gratuitous hack at Auxiliary Bishop Richard Lennon of Boston over the supposed mistreatment of an ordained deacon.

McGrory outlines the case of Deacon Frank Gates. Gates was unmarried, a widower, and was working as chaplain at a local Catholic hospital. But now he wants to marry the other “chaplain” at the Catholic hospital, a divorced woman. Is this woman Catholic? We don’t know because McGrory doesn’t tell us. Did she have an annulment? Ditto. (Of course here we have an object lesson in the dangers of married and/or women priests for the Church. This would be a very common problem.)

The fact that McGrory glides over is that deacons cannot marry. Of course, permanent deacons can be married before they’re ordained, but if they become single after, they cannot be remarried. This has been the case since the permanent diaconate was revived and Gates would have been told this before being ordained.

Nevertheless, Gates decided to ignore this restriction and seek marriage anyway. But in McGrory’s eyes the Church’s laws are inconvenient, regardless of the theology or reasoning behind them. Church=bad, hierarchy=bad, feelings=good.

Now, Gates obviously knew that remarriage was incompatible with his ministry because he resigned his chaplaincy and took a “secular” job at the Catholic hospital. Now Gates and McGrory are stunned that the Catholic Archdiocese might have a problem with that. Sorry, but this is still a Catholic hospital and his very public breaking of his vows is still a scandal. This is no different from a husband who publicly breaks his vow to his wife. Gates had made a public commitment to the Church and was publicly breaking it.

Enter the Big Bad Bishop

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli