AS in so many other things Catholic, it would appear that France is a long way ahead of most other countries
in pioneering the restoration of the permanent diaconate. As early as 1967 five French deacons were ordained—four of them in the presence of their wives. There are 150 Candidates for the diaconate under training at Lyons. The first five German deacons were ordained in 1968 at Cologne and there are 18 training centres for would-be deacons. Belgium has so far ordained 16.
The United States ordained its first permanent deacon in 1968. Recently 19 future deacons received minor orders in Washington. They included seven coloured Americans and several fathers of families.
The Spanish hierarchy is examining the feasibility of the permanent diaconate.
Italy has just approved restoration. Latin America boasts ten diaconate training centres— six in Brazil, two in Chile and one each in Paraguay and Santo Domingo.
Although the English and Welsh bishops gave formal approval to the restoration of the permanent diaconate in 1968 no deacons have been ordained, although there are three under training in the Leeds diocese.