In the Roman Catholic
church, a transitional deacon
is a celibate
man who has been ordained
and who intends to become a priest
. Transitional deacons are usually ordained to the diaconate after they complete their third year at the theological seminary
. For several centuries, all Roman Catholic deacons were in this transitional stage between layman and priest. The role of permanent deacon
, usually a married man who is unable to remarry after ordination if his wife predeceases him, was revived after the Second Vatican Council
in the 1960s.
In the Anglican tradition (such as the Episcopal Church in the United States of America), a transitional deacon is similar except that, in keeping with the differences in the requirements for priesthood from the Roman Catholic church, they may be a man or woman and may be married. Another difference is that an Anglican transitional deacon must first be a graduate of an approved seminary, theological college or distance education program.