Skip to comments.Pope warns against laity performing functions of priests [Catholic Caucus]
Posted on 09/15/2008 8:28:16 AM PDT by NYer
FRANCE: POPE BENEDICT XVI yesterday spoke out against lay people performing the functions of priests, writes Lara Marlowe in Lourdes
"Priests are a gift from God for the church," the pontiff told French bishops.
"Where their specific missions are concerned, priests cannot delegate their functions to the faithful," the pope said.
The problem of priestly vocations is especially acute in France, where one northern diocese has only one priest to serve 27 parishes. As David Rice, a former Dominican priest, wrote in this newspaper in July 2008: "In essence the lay people have taken over the local church and run it for themselves."
The pope also spoke of his concern at the deteriorating institutions of marriage and the family, which he described as "today experiencing real turbulence".
The pontiff singled out those who are divorced and remarried, saying: "The church, which cannot oppose the will of Christ, firmly maintains the principle of the indissolubility of marriage . . . Hence initiatives aimed at blessing irregular unions cannot be admitted."
On Saturday, the pope warned 260,000 worshippers in Paris to "shun the worship of idols". Our modern world has created its own idols, he said. "St Paul explains to the Colossians that insatiable greed is a form of idolatry, and he reminds his disciple Timothy that love of money is the root of all evil."
After the candledlit procession in Lourdes on Saturday night, Pope Benedict recounted how 14-year-old Bernadette Soubirous "saw a light, and in this light she saw a young lady who was beautiful, more beautiful than any other . . . Lourdes is one of the places chosen by God for his beauty to be reflected with particular brightness, hence the importance here of the symbol of light."
The pope dedicated his homily yesterday to the cross. "The instrument of torture which, on Good Friday, manifested God's judgment on the world, has become a source of life, pardon, mercy, a sign of reconciliation and peace," he said.
In his autobiography, the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger wrote: "I am convinced that the crisis of the church which we are living through today was largely caused by the disintegration of the liturgy."
The pope's preference for traditional liturgy was obvious this weekend. He has replaced the 1960s silver papal pastoral staff with a gold Greek cross dating back to the mid-19th century.
He asked that communion wafers consecrated for his visit be stored in ciboriums of precious metal, not earthenware, as had become the custom.
Joan Chittister, can you hear this?
“...confess your sins, one to another...”
I read that somewhere.
Pope Benedict has worked tirelessly to reeducate us all.
Our priest, too, got rid of all the old earthware vessels. It is so wonderful to have precious metal vessels. (Although we always had a metal ciborium.)
We pray as we believe.
lex orandi lex credendi
You kick major butt, my FRiend!
If you want really Apologetics, a former Protestant is better than anyone!!!!
I am an unworthy servant, only doin’ my duty (Luke 17:10)
But thanks for the kudos... I couldn’t pass on that one. Folks often like to quote James 5:16 and 1 John 1:9, but not John 20:19-23, which is the other half of the equation, so to speak.
One thing that really bothered me this past Feast of St. Blase, and on Ash Wednesday, was lay people blessing throats, and distributing ashes. I immediately got into the line where the priest was as I didn’t want lay people doing the functions that I believe only priests should do.
It's gone too far in some dioceses (like mine). You did the right thing. Pray ... pray for vocations and pray that for strong bishops.
I have a question. Our parish has 4 priests, although now one is on a sabbatical and one is retired and only does the Spanish mass and subs once in a while in the English masses. We also have a permanent deacon.
Normally there are 4 priests available. We have 1 mass on Saturday evening and 5 English masses and 1 Spanish mass on Sunday. All of the English masses have 6-8 extraordinary ministers of communion.
So my question is, have all of these lay people just sort of appeared, or was there a need for them? (Our parish is huge and all masses are heavily attended.) I know our monsignor is sort of reluctant to tell people no, but it seems to me that the priests could serve communion even if they weren’t celebrating mass. But maybe I am just being over-picky.
You’re absolutely right. There is no reason in a parish with four priests to have so many EMHCs. Often, this is done to “speed up” the Mass, by shortening the time it takes to distribute Holy Communion. But any extra time needed could be spent in silent prayer, so it is not really necessary to do this.
Also, the choir loft is in the rear of the church and the overflow attendance spills over (up?) into the choir loft, and we couldn't get down and back while singing . . . so we're going to have an EMHC no matter what. The only time I've ever seen a priest darken the door of the choir loft is when we had a Penance Service or a Healing Service. I was so shocked that I held out my hands and the priest was shocked because I had just genuflected . . . . I didn't use to receive on the tongue when it was an EMHC but now I always do, just because I don't want to shock the priest again . . . . < g >
What is the average attendance at the English masses? That's the guideline. The worst abuse of this that I ever witnessed was, not surprisingly, right here in the Albany Diocese. I happened to catch a Sunday morning (pre-recorded) televised mass. There was a priest, a deacon and perhaps 8 or 10 attendees (including the guitarist). At communion time, the priest and deacon sat down and 2 EMHCs distributed communion. How utterly pathetic!!! 5 more years before the bishop reaches mandatory retirement age. May Benedict XVI live to be 100!
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