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Lay sermons permitted, Vatican tells Swiss bishops
The Tablet ^ | 2/11/2005

Posted on 02/11/2005 1:08:52 PM PST by B Knotts

Lay sermons permitted, Vatican tells Swiss bishops. Proposals by Swiss bishops to allow lay theologians to give sermons and Protestants to receive Communion have met with the approval of the Curia in Rome, Bishop Amédée Grab, president of the Swiss bishops' conference, said this week.

The Swiss church is having to cope with a shortage of priests and in an effort to deal with the crisis its bishops' conference has come up with controversial plans to make greater use of the laity serving as pastoral assistants. The Swiss bishops' conference has now declared that the assistants (who hold university degrees in theology) are to be allowed to preach during Mass and baptise whenever a priest was not available. The bishops, who announced to journalists following their return from their ad limina visit to Rome that they have secured Curial backing for their plans, have also secured the necessary permission for the Protestant partner in a mixed marriage to receive the Eucharist in a Catholic Church. The general secretary of the Swiss bishops' conference, Agnell Rickenmann, said that the two declarations were partly a response to the shortage of priests in Switzerland, but also reflected the Swiss Church's "independence". He said: "In Switzerland we have a 30-year tradition of theologically trained lay people active in the Church."

...

The head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, had told the Swiss bishops that in emergency cases lay theologians could hold a "brief sermon-like discourse" or a meditation based on the Mass for the day but that this should not be allowed to become the "general norm".

(Excerpt) Read more at thetablet.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Catholic
KEYWORDS: homilist; homily; laymen; sermon
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Huh? How is this compatible with canon law?
1 posted on 02/11/2005 1:08:55 PM PST by B Knotts
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To: B Knotts

I don't believe this!


2 posted on 02/11/2005 1:13:41 PM PST by dcnd9
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To: B Knotts

Bogus story...doesn't google.


3 posted on 02/11/2005 1:18:14 PM PST by dcnd9
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To: B Knotts

Communion in the hand, altar girls, and now this...


4 posted on 02/11/2005 1:26:39 PM PST by Bellarmine
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To: B Knotts; AlbionGirl; Campion; Agrarian; katnip; Canticle_of_Deborah; sitetest; Tantumergo; NYer; ..

The far more damaging action is the apparent, or perhaps I should say "alleged" approval by Rome of Open Communion. Of course, its Rome's Church and Rome can and will do what it wants, but if there was ever any hope or desire for a union with Orthodoxy in the near future, this will kill it.


5 posted on 02/11/2005 1:31:38 PM PST by Kolokotronis (Nuke the Cube!)
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To: Kolokotronis

This story is bogus! Not true. Link doesn't work. Nothing in it 'Googles'


6 posted on 02/11/2005 1:34:05 PM PST by dcnd9
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To: dcnd9

It's not bogus. Go to the link. You may have to register.

That said, I do wonder if we are getting the whole story on this. I'd like to hear what Cdl. Ratzinger has to say.


7 posted on 02/11/2005 1:38:59 PM PST by B Knotts
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To: B Knotts
Huh? How is this compatible with canon law?

Looks like several others have the same question.

Accusations that the declarations were against canon law and contradicted last year's Vatican edict that only priests could give sermons, were quick to follow. Pro Ecclesia, a conservative Catholic group, said it looked very much as if, shortly before setting out for Rome, the Swiss bishops were determined to "present the Vatican with a fait accompli". It was also reported that Austrian and German bishops had berated the Swiss bishops at the annual liturgical conference (for bishops in German-speaking countries, including South Tyrol and Luxembourg) in Augsburg at the end of January for "pressing ahead of the world Church" on such matters.

8 posted on 02/11/2005 1:40:18 PM PST by siunevada
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To: B Knotts

Nothing 'googles' in your story....try it!


9 posted on 02/11/2005 1:40:25 PM PST by dcnd9
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To: dcnd9

This was only reported today, so Google probably hasn't pickted it up yet. And it's not "my" story. I saw it mentioned on Amy Welborn's blog (in the comments), and took a look.


10 posted on 02/11/2005 1:42:36 PM PST by B Knotts
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To: B Knotts

Still not buying it.


11 posted on 02/11/2005 1:45:37 PM PST by dcnd9
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To: dcnd9

The other thing is: this could be another Abp. Flynn situation. If you know what I mean...


12 posted on 02/11/2005 1:46:58 PM PST by B Knotts
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To: B Knotts

Explain?


13 posted on 02/11/2005 1:48:04 PM PST by dcnd9
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To: dcnd9; B Knotts
You're accusing posters of posting bogus stories because they don't "google"? Just because it doesn't "google" doesn't mean squat.

Why not follow the link and register instead of sticking your foot in your mouth.

14 posted on 02/11/2005 1:48:20 PM PST by AAABEST (Kyrie eleison - Christe eleison )
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To: AAABEST

Have you?


15 posted on 02/11/2005 1:48:55 PM PST by dcnd9
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To: dcnd9

That's fine with me...we report; you decide. :-)

I don't want this to be true any more than anyone else, but I won't just shut my eyes to it when I see it.

Better to sound the alarm right away, IMO.


16 posted on 02/11/2005 1:49:00 PM PST by B Knotts
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To: dcnd9

Abp. Flynn came back from his ad limina and announced that Cdl. Arinze had not given him any indication that there needed to be a "single policy" on giving Holy Communion to Rainbow Sashers.

Cdl. Arinze later indicated that he had not said anything resembling that.


17 posted on 02/11/2005 1:51:05 PM PST by B Knotts
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To: dcnd9
I don't have to. I know BK well enough to know that he doesn't post fake stories and that the story exists on the other end of the link behind the reg page.

You on the other hand I don't know from a hole in the wall.

18 posted on 02/11/2005 1:51:22 PM PST by AAABEST (Kyrie eleison - Christe eleison )
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To: B Knotts

Call you local C.C.

I did. Said this stuff in the story is not true.
Not on any Catholic site even the Vatican site.


19 posted on 02/11/2005 1:53:13 PM PST by dcnd9
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To: AAABEST

Thanks for the support! :-)

Honestly, I wasn't expecting that particular reaction.

I'm generally pretty tame around here.


20 posted on 02/11/2005 1:53:46 PM PST by B Knotts
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To: dcnd9; B Knotts

Try Googling 'Swiss bishops'.

First story up is from swissinfo.org and contains this:

Pastoral assistants

Another sensitive issue due to be discussed was the role of lay theologians in the life of the Church.

In Switzerland, the shortage of priests has led to a greater dependency on non-ordained theologians to fulfil some priestly duties.

Two weeks ago the Swiss Bishops Conference issued a paper recognising this situation and officially permitting lay theologians to preach during Mass, in apparent contradiction of a Vatican edict of last year that only priests can deliver sermons.

The paper also gave lay pastoral assistants the right to baptise, and said Protestants could take communion in certain cases.


21 posted on 02/11/2005 1:55:33 PM PST by siunevada
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To: dcnd9

Feel free to suppose that I have hung around here for 6-1/2 years in order to post a fake story about lay homilists being allowed in Switzerland.

I assure you, that is not the case.

Whether the Swiss bishops have misinterpreted what was told them by the Curia, I cannot say, but I am not a guy who posts phony stories, and neither is the Tablet, as far as I can tell.


22 posted on 02/11/2005 1:57:29 PM PST by B Knotts
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To: B Knotts; Akron Al; Alberta's Child; Andrew65; AniGrrl; apologia_pro_vita_sua; attagirl; ...

snip

The general secretary of the Swiss bishops' conference, Agnell Rickenmann, said that the two declarations were partly a response to the shortage of priests in Switzerland, but also reflected the Swiss Church's "independence". He said: "In Switzerland we have a 30-year tradition of theologically trained lay people active in the Church."


Accusations that the declarations were against canon law and contradicted last year's Vatican edict that only priests could give sermons, were quick to follow. Pro Ecclesia, a conservative Catholic group, said it looked very much as if, shortly before setting out for Rome, the Swiss bishops were determined to "present the Vatican with a fait accompli". It was also reported that Austrian and German bishops had berated the Swiss bishops at the annual liturgical conference (for bishops in German-speaking countries, including South Tyrol and Luxembourg) in Augsburg at the end of January for "pressing ahead of the world Church" on such matters.


But the Swiss bishops were not hauled over the coals during their five-day ad limina visit to Rome. On the contrary, Bishop Grab said on his return, this had been his fourth ad limina visit and he had "never returned so happy". The head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, had told the Swiss bishops that in emergency cases lay theologians could hold a "brief sermon-like discourse" or a meditation based on the Mass for the day but that this should not be allowed to become the "general norm".


23 posted on 02/11/2005 1:57:43 PM PST by Land of the Irish (Tradidi quod et accepi)
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To: B Knotts

I just wrote to the Tablet to ask for verification of their source of this information. I in no way meant to imply the story wasn't posted in good faith by you.... Just that it's contents were suspect.


24 posted on 02/11/2005 2:01:43 PM PST by dcnd9
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To: dcnd9

Understood, and A-OK...as you can see, there has been at least some discussion of this on other sites.

I hope it proves to be false, or at least is a misunderstanding.


25 posted on 02/11/2005 2:03:55 PM PST by B Knotts
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To: siunevada
The USCCB has approved "The Rite for Communion Services in the absence of a Priest or Deacon." Lay Leaders--parish members chosen by the pastor or pastoral council--conduct a Scripture-based prayer service with the distribution of communion. This service is usually held in lieu of daily Mass when a priest is not available, but it is also becoming more common on some Sundays in remote areas.

Now, as part of this prayer service, the lay leader is invited to offer some "reflections." The rite is careful to say that this must not be a homily, but it is, in fact, a homily by another name if the leader reflects on the readings.

It is a very simple step from allowing lay leaders to reflect on the readings in a prayer service, to allowing them to reflect on the readings at a Mass.

It would surprise me if the Vatican gave the Swiss bishops a particular dispensation for lay theologians to preach. If it did, I can think of a dozen other episcopal conferences which will immediately petition for the same dispensation. The US would be part of that 12.

26 posted on 02/11/2005 2:13:09 PM PST by sinkspur ("Preach the gospel. If necessary, use words.")
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To: sinkspur


The C.C. also said Protestants are not allowed to receive communion in the C.C. as story claims.


27 posted on 02/11/2005 2:15:38 PM PST by dcnd9
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To: sinkspur

The difference there, of course, is one of necessity.

The "Word & Communion" service is supposed to be used only when it is impossible for a priest to be present on Sunday (yes, it is commonly used as a substitute for daily Mass, but this is actually illicit).

If a priest is present, you can have a Mass. And if you have a Mass, there can be no good reason to have a layman give the homily. As you obviously are quite aware, if the priest is not up to it, a deacon can do so.


28 posted on 02/11/2005 2:26:57 PM PST by B Knotts
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To: dcnd9
Have you?

I have, and I saw the article there, you are making a fool of yourself. The Tablet is a Catholic newspaper in England that has been around for decades.

I suspect Bishop Grab (Means "grave" in German) is overstating his case, by taking a lack of response as approval. But, if no one stops him, he may as well be right.

29 posted on 02/11/2005 2:31:00 PM PST by nickcarraway
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To: sinkspur

Yeah, the parish next to mine has three outlying mission parishes without resident priests and one of our permanent deacons got moved over to the home parish full time plus they usually have one of our other two deacons assist them.

The outlying parishes get a Communion Service every other week and the priest from the home parish or one from our parish makes the trip to say Mass on the alternate weeks.

Of course, if we lived in the Andes we might not see a priest for a month or more. And have to walk thirty miles to boot. I guess we have it pretty easy.


30 posted on 02/11/2005 2:34:21 PM PST by siunevada
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To: dcnd9
The C.C. also said Protestants are not allowed to receive communion in the C.C. as story claims.

I have seen the exception mentioned more than a few times: the non-Catholic spouse receving the Eucharist at a wedding Mass.

31 posted on 02/11/2005 2:35:54 PM PST by sinkspur ("Preach the gospel. If necessary, use words.")
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To: B Knotts
The Swiss bishops have obviously pushed on the issue of lay homilists.

Let's see how hard the Vatican pushes back. That will tell the story of whether this is a pipe-dream, or not.

32 posted on 02/11/2005 2:38:11 PM PST by sinkspur ("Preach the gospel. If necessary, use words.")
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To: nickcarraway

Now it's your turn. See post #24 and #25


33 posted on 02/11/2005 2:38:33 PM PST by dcnd9
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To: sinkspur

If a priest does this, it is not a sanctioned practice.


34 posted on 02/11/2005 2:39:29 PM PST by dcnd9
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To: dcnd9

Your earlier posts are still there.


35 posted on 02/11/2005 2:40:20 PM PST by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

Yes but we've cleared things up between us. A fact you seem unwilling to acknowledge and move on as have we.


36 posted on 02/11/2005 2:42:16 PM PST by dcnd9
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To: sinkspur

Of course you are pleased as punch with this, as it dovetails very nicely into the agenda which you support - as evidenced by your posts.

How much does the USCCB actually pay you?


37 posted on 02/11/2005 2:42:49 PM PST by thor76 (Vade retro, Draco! Crux sacra sit mihi lux !)
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To: thor76

Should we all assume you are Anti-C with that comment just as you have assumed of his post.


38 posted on 02/11/2005 2:46:54 PM PST by dcnd9
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To: B Knotts

I do understand exactly what you are describing, and the reason for it.

However, with the well engineered "priest shortage" here in the US, Catholics are being primed to accept such "services as an acceptable norm. This is both problematic, and evil at the same time.

While I understand that the service is used in lieu of a mass, it is mistakenly preceived in the eye of the parishioner as being a "mass" with repeated usage over time. Therin lies the problem.

Also, I have personally observed - or been made aware of - many instances when "father felt it 'hard to be present'", and let some little old man conduct one of these services, as he was off in his vacation house when he should have been at the church! Such is not an isolated case in the northeast.


39 posted on 02/11/2005 2:49:02 PM PST by thor76 (Vade retro, Draco! Crux sacra sit mihi lux !)
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To: Kolokotronis
The bishops, who announced to journalists following their return from their ad limina visit to Rome that they have secured Curial backing for their plans, have also secured the necessary permission for the Protestant partner in a mixed marriage to receive the Eucharist in a Catholic Church.

I don't know if this is true or not, but didn't Tony Blair take Communion, however long ago that was? And wasn't the Holy Eucharist distributed to him in the Vatican? Don't know that for sure, but that's what's been reported here on FR, and I've seen people defend, but not refute it. And, in light of that, and if this story is true, it should come as absolutely no surprise to anyone.

The RCC closest to me, and which by all rights I should attend, based on the rules, has allowed a female pastoral associate to deliver the homily. I do not make that title up, it is the title listed for her in that Church bulletin.

I've only been there once when it occured, so maybe it was just for that time, as the pastoral associate was leaving the parish for another suburban parish, due to a promotion to a position in the pastoral leadership group there; whatever that means. I think it means defacto, back door, women priests, but I might be viewing this with a cyncial and maybe less than charitable eye, so maybe I'm wrong.

The general secretary of the Swiss bishops' conference, Agnell Rickenmann, said that the two declarations were partly a response to the shortage of priests in Switzerland, but also reflected the Swiss Church's "independence". He said: "In Switzerland we have a 30-year tradition of theologically trained lay people active in the Church."

Kolo, thanks for the ping and question for you here, is this independence, as it is defined here, consistent with the independence more common to Orthodoxy, and it's relationship with her Bishops? Also, but not related, does Lent take place the exact same time for the Orthodox as it does for us?

The head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, had told the Swiss bishops that in emergency cases lay theologians could hold a "brief sermon-like discourse" or a meditation based on the Mass for the day but that this should not be allowed to become the "general norm".

If there ever was a truer case of BWAAHAAAA!, I'm not aware of it. Talk about NOT!

For what it's worth, I'm against reconciliation of the Orthodox with us for the simple reason of preservation of Tradition, and keeping what is Holy, Holy.

We would pollute Orthodoxy, and then have to commence almost immediately on the endless and thankless task of unpolluting it.

I guess we can consider this our Lenten gift from the Curia. Pardon the language, Kolo, but my BS buffers are nearing capacity.

40 posted on 02/11/2005 2:50:28 PM PST by AlbionGirl
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To: dcnd9

"Anti-C"???????

anti-communist? Anti cats? Anti-Catholic?........if you think the latter, you have not read any of my other posts.


41 posted on 02/11/2005 2:52:17 PM PST by thor76 (Vade retro, Draco! Crux sacra sit mihi lux !)
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To: thor76

I did, thus the comment.


42 posted on 02/11/2005 2:55:23 PM PST by dcnd9
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To: B Knotts

Sermons, I can understand. But Protestants taking Communion doesn't sound right.

Reminds me: A Jewish friend told me he'd gone to church with Catholic friends he was visiting. When communion time came, he went to the altar and received communion. Then wondered whether he'd done an OK thing.

I told him he'd have to be re-circumcised.


43 posted on 02/11/2005 2:56:42 PM PST by Veto! (Opinions freely dispensed as advice)
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To: Veto!
I told him he'd have to be re-circumcised.

LOL!! It'd hurt more this time!!!

44 posted on 02/11/2005 3:03:58 PM PST by sinkspur ("Preach the gospel. If necessary, use words.")
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To: dcnd9

Obviously you are not familiar with my other posts. If you were, you would not make that comment. I am very much a traditionalist Catholic.

Anti- Catholic.....very far from the truth. Anti modernist/liberal/gay agenda: totally.


45 posted on 02/11/2005 3:04:18 PM PST by thor76 (Vade retro, Draco! Crux sacra sit mihi lux !)
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To: B Knotts

If I wanted to be a Baptist I could have. Why are they doing this?


46 posted on 02/11/2005 3:06:01 PM PST by Mark in the Old South (Note to GOP "Deliver or perish" Re: Specter I guess the GOP "chooses" to perish)
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To: dcnd9

I didn't have any problem. Did you scroll down to the article?


47 posted on 02/11/2005 3:08:56 PM PST by Mark in the Old South (Note to GOP "Deliver or perish" Re: Specter I guess the GOP "chooses" to perish)
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To: thor76

Thanks for the clarification. Peace.


48 posted on 02/11/2005 3:10:22 PM PST by dcnd9
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To: Mark in the Old South

Read #24 and 25....we are trying to verify the info in the story. I'll post if the "Tablet" answers.


49 posted on 02/11/2005 3:11:51 PM PST by dcnd9
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To: thor76

At the church I attend, which is a mission, we had those "Word & Communion" services on certain weekdays.

Our pastor, a young, orthodox priest, recently put the kibosh on that practice, as it was not licit.

We are blessed to have him. We have Mass every week because some Holy Cross priests from the university fill in on the Sundays when the pastor is not able to be present.

He has restored the use of Sanctus bells, and had the Tabernacle (which had been in a side chapel) moved to the front of the Sanctuary.

I saw him at the main parish church at a K of C event one Saturday, and he was wearing a cassock.


50 posted on 02/11/2005 3:22:08 PM PST by B Knotts
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