Pope: "Deacons are the custodians of service in the Church"
In the Catholic Church, the diaconate is the first of three ranks in ordained ministry – bishops, priests and deacons. Since the Second Vatican Council, the Latin-rite Church has restored the diaconate “as a proper and permanent rank of the hierarchy”. Deacons preparing for the priesthood are transitional deacons, while those not planning to be ordained priests are permanent deacons. Permanent diaconate can be conferred on a single or married man. If he is married, he must be so before receiving the diaconate.