|Something a Deacon just cannot do|
My guess is not and now here comes the unkind cut; all too often a sick call request to the Presbytery results in the appearance of a Deacon. I am sure Deacons are good and well intentioned people but, in extremis, I would want a priest to hear my confession and/or to administer the Sacrament of Extreme Unction euphemistically called, these days, The Sacrament of the Sick.
On two occasions in the past month urgent requests on behalf of potentially dying relatives and friends have resulted in a Deacon arriving to administer Holy Communion. I suppose I should be grateful that it was not an Extraordinary Minister.
Priests are, busy people (at least all the ones I know are) but the salvation of a soul is the very essence of their vocation. It must be a tremendous feeling to have administered the last rites to someone who has not been near a confessional in 50 years - a soul snatched from the grasp of the devil! A real and wonderful success for their priestly aims. And just think how many souls a priest could save by this method over the years, hundreds, maybe thousands.
A Deacon turning up deprives that person of the Sacrament of Penance, it's as simple as that. In a management situation one would review the duties that occupy the priest and see if the roles could not be exchanged. The Deacon remains at the Presbytery drafting sermons or doing the Diocesan accounts while the priest goes out to do what he is there for.
It can't be as simple as that can it?