Greek Catholic Deacon at the Papal Inauguration of Pope Benedict XVI

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Traditionally, in the Papal Mass of the old Roman Rite before the Vatican II Ecumenical Council, it is not just the Deacon of the Byzantine Rite who is there to read the Gospel but a Subdeacon too to read the Epistle in Greek, Traditionally they came from the Italo-Albanese Byzantine Catholic Monastery of Santa Maria de Grottaferrata

Even if the Solemn Papal High Mass was abolished, still some unique aspects are still retained and one of these is the Participation of the Byzantine Catholic Clergies as Deacon and Subdeacon, though during the time of Blessed Pope John Paul II, only the Deacon participates and at this time, it is also a Byzantine Catholic Deacon not just of Grottaferrata but of the Romanian, Ukrainian and even Melkite Eastern Catholic Sui Iuris Churches of the Greek Rite, until and the Pontificate of Benedict XV of which he restores the Subdeacon in the Epistle and recently, the most controversial i think, is the Greek Orthodox Deacon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople read the Gospel at the Papal Mass as their Patriarch assist in the Liturgy of the Word, and even expanded the participation when at the Holy Mass for the Sunod of Bishops in Middle East, a Greek Rite Archpriest reads the Gospel instead of the Deacon doing it.


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