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(1,743 words)

Author(s): Narciso Jubany
The diaconate is the lowest degree of the consecrated hierarchy in the Church’s visible structure; the term means doing a particular service. It is an office that figures in the earliest pages of Church history, and the fact that the NT uses the Greek word διάκονος in a strict sense to designate this ecclesiastical office shows us that service is its special characteristic. Everywhere in the NT the word διάκονος means a servant or an official minister. It is possible to discern the character of the diaconal office in the Acts of the Apostles, the letters of St. Paul, and…