Skip to comments.John Paul II Warns Against Trend to "Clericalize the Laity"
Posted on 09/23/2002 10:50:50 PM PDT by NYer
Laments Confusion About Roles During the Liturgy
CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, SEPT. 23, 2002 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II warned against the tendency to "clericalize the laity," which has resulted from erroneous interpretations of the Second Vatican Council.
When greeting a group of bishops from western Brazil in Rome for their once-every-five-year visit, the Pope said in his address that today there is a "confusion of functions," which originates in erroneous theological interpretations.
"Among the objectives of the liturgical reform, established by Vatican Council II, was the need to have all the faithful participate in liturgical ceremonies," the Holy Father told the bishops Saturday.
"However, in practice, in the years following the council, in order to fulfill this desire, the confusion of functions in regard to the priestly ministry and role of the laity was arbitrarily extended," he explained.
Symptoms of this confusion are "the indiscriminate and common recitation of the Eucharistic Prayer," "homilies given by lay people" and the "distribution of Communion by the laity."
These "grave abuses often originated in doctrinal errors, especially in regard to the nature of the liturgy, of the common priesthood of Christians, of the vocation and mission of the laity, but also in regard to the ordained ministry of priests," the Pope stressed.
The Holy Father said that one of the consequences of this phenomenon is "the lack of observance of certain ecclesiastical laws and norms, the arbitrary interpretation of the concept of 'substitution,' the tendency to 'clericalize' the laity, etc."
Although "the liturgy is the action of the whole Mystical Body of Christ, of his body and his members," it is true that "not everyone has the same function, because not everyone participates in the same way in the priesthood of Christ."
John Paul II confirmed that the faithful who are not ordained may "carry out some tasks and functions of cooperation in pastoral service" only "when they are expressly appointed by their respective consecrated pastors, in keeping with prescriptions of the law."
He clarified that the members "of the diocesan pastoral or parish council have only a consultative vote and, for this reason, may not be considered deliberative."
The Pope emphasized that the bishop "must hear the faithful, clergy and laity, to form an opinion," but "the latter may not formulate a definitive judgment on the Church," as "it corresponds to the bishop to discern and pronounce himself, not on a mere question of conscience, but as a teacher of the faith."
In this context, the Holy Father also referred to the "re-establishment of the permanent diaconate of married men," which "constitutes an important enrichment for the mission of the Church."
This service must "always be limited to the prescription the law, given that the exercise of full ministerial authority corresponds to priests," avoiding "ambiguities that might confuse the faithful, especially in liturgical celebrations."
I hope some of the US bishops heed these words. Of late, certain dioceses are according far too much responsibility to their laity.
For someone who is quite active as a lay person I agree with you.
Hmmmmm ... our parish, as do all of the others within this diocese ALWAYS have both species, even for daily mass. I never questioned it. How unusual is this?
Q. Why are Catholics sometimes permitted to receive Holy Communion under both species and sometimes only permitted to receive the consecrated Host?
A.According to the Code of Canon Law, "Holy Communion is to be given under the form of bread and wine or under both kinds in accord with the norm of the liturgical laws or even under the form of wine, alone in case of necessity" (Canon 925). The Second Vatican Council has encouraged the reception of Holy Communion under both forms. Yet since the Vatican Council, there have been various qualifications which limit the administration of the Eucharist under the form of both bread and wine. The reason for this restriction is the liability to abuse of the Blessed Sacrament where the whole congregation, at every Mass, would receive from the chalice. Not the least of these abuses is consecration of such an abundance of wine that a large quantity of the Precious Blood is left over after Mass. Sacrilegious disposition of the consecrated chalice is not uncommon in some places. As a result, the normal procedure is to restrict the reception of communion under both species only to special occasions, such as weddings or certain solemn feasts. Moreover, the priests may administer Holy Communion by intinction. Here they dip the consecrated Host into the chalice and say to the communicant, "The Body and Blood of Christ."
Everyone who wants to disobey the Church claims we are in extraordinary times. Its like a refrain, just repeat over and over until the end of time.
the following segment is interesting ..........
The New Norms for Holy Communion
The new official norms for the Communion Rite promise to bring new clarity to how the Church expects her sacraments to be observed.
The new Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani (IGMR), the rules for celebration of Mass in the revised Roman Missal, had stressed the requirement that Eucharistic bread be unleavened.
The new US Norms for Communion in Both Kinds permit the use of extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion when necessary:
When recourse is had to extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion ... their number should not be increased beyond what is required for the orderly and reverent distribution of the Body and Blood of the Lord. (Norms §28)
The norms do not discourage intinction:
In practice, the need to avoid obscuring the role of the priest and the deacon as the ordinary ministers of Holy Communion by an excessive use of extraordinary ministers might in some circumstances constitute a reason either for limiting the distribution of Holy Communion under both species or for using intinction instead of distributing the Precious Blood from the chalice. (Norms §24)
Extraordinary Ministers are not to assist at the fraction rite:
As the Agnus Dei or Lamb of God is begun, the bishop or priest alone, or with the assistance of the deacon, and if necessary of concelebrating priests, breaks the Eucharistic bread.
Other empty chalices and ciboria or patens are then brought to the altar if this is necessary. The deacon or priest places the consecrated bread in several ciboria or patens and, if necessary, pours the Precious Blood into enough additional chalices as are required for the distribution of Holy Communion. (Norms §37)
Only after the fraction rite do the extraordinary ministers approach the altar.
If extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion are required by pastoral need, they approach the altar as the priest receives Communion. After the priest has concluded his own Communion, he distributes Communion to the extraordinary ministers ... (Norms §38)
The procedure for the reception of Communion by extraordinary ministers follows the rules in the new IGMR:
The practice of extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion waiting to receive Holy Communion until after the distribution of Holy Communion is not in accord with liturgical law. (Norms §39)
Contrary to Father Hovda's instructions:
The reverence due to the Precious Blood of the Lord demands that it be fully consumed after Communion is completed and never be poured into the ground or the sacrarium. (Norms §55)
Extraordinary ministers may consume what remains of the Blood of Christ if the diocesan bishop gives permission. (Norms §52) According to a letter from Cardinal Medina, this is permitted "given the grave and overriding need to safeguard the Precious Blood".
The Norms themselves make no provision for Extraordinary Ministers to purify the vessels; however, a separate decree from the Congregation states that
for grave pastoral reasons, the faculty may be given by the diocesan bishop to the priest celebrant to use the assistance, when necessary, even of extraordinary ministers in the cleansing of sacred vessels after the distribution of Communion has been completed in the celebration of Mass. This faculty is conceded for a period of three years as a dispensation from the norm of the Institutio Generalis, editio typica tertia of the Roman Missal.
In parishes where innovations for the celebration of Mass promoted by Hovda, Huck, Irwin, et al., have been practiced, people may need to be told that the Norms require (in the words of Father Hovda) "a radical break with our immediate past and our entrenched habits".
Some may find change difficult. Liturgists who relentlessly promoted schemes for "a radical relocation of the experience of transcendence" -- with its underlying defective sacramental theology -- may find it particularly difficult. But Catholics who long for more reverent worship will welcome the new norms that put the "experience of transcendence" back where it has always belonged.
<> This isn't a reform of the reform. It is a correction of error.<>
Abuses are of two sorts. One is from ignorance, the other, from malice! Unfortunately, there are many from the latter!
It approaches the Eastern Rite method of "spooning". I was in awe of the Eucharistic reverence at an Eastern Rite wedding I attended.
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