Monday, August 28, 2017

Obscuring the difference between the common priesthood of the faithful and the ministerial priesthood...


INSTRUCTION ON CERTAIN QUESTIONS
REGARDING THE COLLABORATION OF THE NON-ORDAINED FAITHFUL IN THE SACRED MINISTRY OF THE PRIEST
Congregation for the Clergy and 7 other Roman Dicasteries:

4. The Collaboration of the Non-ordained Faithful in Pastoral Ministry

Among the various aspects of the participation of the non-ordained faithful in the Church's mission considered by the conciliar documents, that of their direct collaboration with the ministry of the Church's pastors is considered. Indeed, "when necessity and expediency in the Church require it, the Pastors, according to established norms from universal law, can entrust to the lay faithful certain offices and roles that are connected to their pastoral ministry but do not require the character of Orders". In this way, it is not one merely of assistance but of mutual enrichment of the common Christian vocation. This collaboration was regulated by successive post-conciliar legislation and particularly by the Codex Iuris Canonici.

The Code, having referred to the rights and duties of all the faithful, in the subsequent title devoted to the rights and duties of the lay faithful, treats not only of those which are theirs in virtue of their secular condition, but also of those tasks and functions which are not exclusively theirs. Some of these latter refer to any member of the faithful, whether ordained or not, while others are considered along the lines of collaboration with the sacred ministry of cleric. With regard to these last mentioned areas or functions, the non-ordained faithful do not enjoy a right to such tasks and functions. Rather, they are "capable of being admitted by the sacred Pastors... to those functions which, in accordance with the provisions of law, they can discharge" or where "ministers are not available... they can supply certain of their functions... in accordance with the provisions of law".

To ensure that such collaboration is harmoniously incorporated into pastoral ministry, and to avoid situations of abuse and disciplinary irregularity in pastoral practice, it is always necessary to have clarity in doctrinal principles. Therefore a consistent, faithful and serious application of the current canonical dispositions throughout the entire Church, while avoiding the abuse of multiplying "exceptional" cases over and above those so designated and regulated by normative discipline, is extremely necessary.

Where the existence of abuses or improper practices has been proved, Pastors will promptly employ those means judged necessary to prevent their dissemination and to ensure that the correct understanding of the Church's nature is not impaired. In particular, they will apply the established disciplinary norms to promote knowledge of and assiduous respect for that distinction and complementarity of functions which are vital for ecclesial communion. Where abusive practices have become widespread, it is absolutely necessary for those who exercise authority to intervene responsibly so as to promote communion which can only be done by adherence to the truth. Communion, truth, justice, peace and charity are all interdependent terms.

In the light of the aforementioned principles, remedies, based on the normative discipline of the Church, and deemed opportune to correct abuses which have been brought to the attention of our Dicasteries, are hereby set forth.



PRACTICAL PROVISIONS

Article 1

Need for an Appropriate Terminology

In his address to participants at the Symposium on "Collaboration of the Lay Faithful with the Priestly Ministry", the Holy Father emphasised the need to clarify and distinguish the various meanings which have accrued to the term "ministry" in theological and canonical language.

§ 1. "For some time now, it has been customary to use the word ministries not only for the officia (officies) and non-ordained (functions) munera exercised by Pastors in virtue of the sacrament of Orders, but also for those exercised by the lay faithful in virtue of their baptismal priesthood. The terminological question becomes even more complex and delicate when all the faithful are recognized as having the possibility of supplying-by official deputation given by the Pastors-certain functions more proper to clerics, which, nevertheless, do not require the character of Orders. It must be admitted that the language becomes doubtful, confused, and hence not helpful for expressing the doctrine of the faith whenever the difference 'of essence and not merely of degree' between the baptismal priesthood and the ordained priesthood is in any way obscured".(54)

§ 2. "In some cases, the extension of the term "ministry" to the munera belonging to the lay faithful has been permitted by the fact that the latter, to their own degree, are a participation in the one priesthood of Christ. The officia temporarily entrusted to them, however, are exclusively the result of a deputation by the Church. Only with constant reference to the one source, the 'ministry of Christ' (...) may the term ministry be applied to a certain extent and without ambiguity to the lay faithful: that is, without it being perceived and lived as an undue aspiration to the ordained ministry or as a progressive erosion of its specific nature.

In this original sense the term ministry (servitium) expresses only the work by which the Church's members continue the mission and ministry of Christ within her and the whole world. However, when the term is distinguished from and compared with the various munera and officia, then it should be clearly noted that only in virtue of sacred ordination does the work obtain that full, univocal meaning that tradition has attributed to it."

§ 3. The non-ordained faithful may be generically designated "extraordinary ministers" when deputed by competent authority to discharge, solely by way of supply, those offices mentioned in Canon 230, § 3(56) and in Canons 943 and 1112. Naturally, the concrete term may be applied to those to whom functions are canonically entrusted e.g. catechists, acolytes, lectors etc.

Temporary deputation for liturgical purposes — mentioned in Canon 230, § 2 — does not confer any special or permanent title on the non-ordained faithful.

It is unlawful for the non-ordained faithful to assume titles such as "pastor", "chaplain", "coordinator", " moderator" or other such similar titles which can confuse their role and that of the Pastor, who is always a Bishop or Priest."


Canon 517.2: "If, because of a shortage of priests, the diocesan Bishop has judged that a deacon, or some other person who is not a priest, or a community of persons, should be entrusted with a share in the exercise of the pastoral care of a parish, he is to appoint some priest who, with the powers and faculties of a parish priest, will direct the pastoral care." 


Ecclesiae de Mysterio, No. 1.3, says: "It is unlawful for the non-ordained faithful to assume titles such as 'pastor,' 'chaplain,' 'coordinator,' 'moderator' or other such similar titles which can confuse their role and that of the Pastor, who is always a Bishop or Priest." The footnote that accompanies this passage (No. 58) reads: "Such examples should include all those linguistic expressions; which in languages of the various countries, are similar or equal and indicate a directive role of leadership or such vicarious activity."

The Common priesthood of the Faithful is that office which each layperson enjoys by virtue of Baptism.  The priesthood of the faithful and the priesthood of the ordained differ in both essence and degree.  See CCC, 784, 941, 1119, 1141, 1143, 1268, 1273, 1546-1547, 1591.

Some titles should not be given to, or assumed by, the non-ordained faithful. Especially those which indicate "a directive role of leadership."

3 comments:

Rita Melanson said...

The laity must never be given titles which blur the clear distinction between the ordained and priesthood of the faithful.

Because there is a movement by radical feminists to promote women's ordination ( in clear defiance of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, No. 4), there is an attempt to unlawfully assume titles which are inappropriate and in clear violation of Church teaching.

William said...

Saint Mary's has at least one woman Lector who believes that women should be ordained. They probably all believe this. That's why they're accepted by the status quo. Faithful Catholics like the Melansons are held in contempt.

Amanda said...

Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, 4: "Although the teaching that priestly ordination is to be reserved to men alone has been preserved by the constant and universal Tradition of the Church and firmly taught by the Magisterium in its more recent documents, at the present time in some places it is nonetheless considered still open to debate, or the Church's judgment that women are not to be admitted to ordination is considered to have a merely disciplinary force.

Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church's divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful."

Why is this Church giving dissidents access to Church ministries? That's just sad!

Site Meter