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Lay people to preside at funerals in Liverpool

By on Friday, 14 September 2012

The Archdiocese of Liverpool has become the first diocese in England and Wales to commission lay people to preside at funerals.

Archbishop Patrick Kelly formally commissioned 22 lay ministers to celebrate funeral ceremonies in an effort to relieve pressure on priests who sometimes must celebrate seven or more funeral Masses a week.

The move was announced through a brochure, “Planning a Catholic Funeral”, published recently by the archdiocese. The brochure described a funeral as the “community’s main celebration and prayer for the deceased”.

“This could be a funeral Mass but … it may be a funeral service led by a lay funeral minister or a deacon,” it said.

Vocations in Liverpool declined sharply in recent years, and the archdiocese projected that the number of priests will decline from 170 to 100 by 2015.

Lay ministers already preside at funerals in some parts of the world where no priest or deacon is available. The decision by Archbishop Kelly represents the first time such a step was authorised by the Catholic Church in England and Wales.

The archdiocese’s Council of Priests supported the move after the archbishop consulted with its members and examined the 1990 Order of Christian Funerals.

The document calls for the lay ministers to preside at funerals when clergy are unavailable, Archbishop Kelly explained in an article in the Tablet.

The document, he said, also recommends that a Mass “be celebrated for the deceased at the earliest convenient time”.

“In some of our parishes in the diocese priests are being asked to celebrate over 120 funerals each year,” Archbishop Kelly wrote.

“That does not neatly work out at two or three times a week,” he wrote. “Some weeks there can be six or seven.”

Archbishop Kelly said that the lay ministers – some of whom are drawn from the roster of Eucharistic ministers, catechists and religious sisters – would receive continuing support and training to ensure that the service they provide is “of the best quality” and was not seen by Catholics as “second-class”.

  • http://ccfather.blogspot.com/ Ben Trovato

    How could a Funeral Service not be ‘second class’ compared with a Funeral Mass?

  • AnthonyPatrick

    Archbishop Kelly seems to have been a disaster for Liverpool.

    Claims that there are not enough priests are spurious: think about remote regions, and places were there is great hostility to tiny minorities of Christians, before falling for the notion that 170 priests can’t carry out what should be there duty. It’s insulting to the idea of priestly formation to simply transfer inconvenient responsibilities to lay people with what will, in practice, probably amount to, at most, a week or two’s training.

  • Jim

    Surely a regular massgoer who has died is entitled to a requiem mass.

  • Streatham

    How can such a service conducted by a lay minister NOT be ‘second class’ as opposed to a Mass of Christian Burial.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    170-odd priests in the Archdiocese and there aren’t enough priests to bury the dead?

    An outrage.

    Why? 

    Either because:

    a)   the priests are a lazy set of nine to five-ers;

    b)   they are spending “quality time” down the local mosque or Anglican church or with the Methodists “dialoguing” in an ecumanically-sensitive manner;

    c)   their Archbishop and his senior clerical advisors are a bunch of neo-Modernist fanatics who want to further “lay ministry” in any way possible?

    Answers on a postcard please. 

  • Jon Brownridge

    Archbishop Kelly is reacting to the reality of the times. We must remember that, though our priests are our respected leaders, the ‘Church’ consists mostly of the laity and all are called to be ministers of the Gospel. It is difficult to accept change, but the reality seems to be that lay ministers will be given more and more authority (i.e. ordained) to conduct religious services.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    If they are “ordained” they are no longer laymen. 

    What are you on about?

  • Ælfrid the Mercian

    Another post-Vatican II outrage. 

    Ask a priest of the FSSP or ICTK, they’ll bury you as a Catholic priest should and as is your RIGHT as a Catholic. 

  • Jon Brownridge

     To “ordain” means “to give authority”. Look it up. For example, the sacraments were ‘ordained’ by Jesus Christ.

  • Rowan carstairs

    Let us pray that the next Archbishop of Liverpool is at least a Catholic, unlike Kelly and his predecessor, and reintroduce The Fullness of The Catholic Faith. 

    And the fruits of VII continue to offer a ripe harvest! – I think not! 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    May I ask a question?

    Have you heard of the word “Sacrament”?

  • Jon Brownridge

    There are different levels of ordination. Minor Orders like Porter were traditionally an ordination. Lay Eucharistic Ministers are ordained in the sense of being given authority for that particular service. But why are we quibbling? All I am trying to say is that we have fewer and fewer vocations to the priesthood and, like Archbishop Kelly, I believe the laity have to take up the slack. Peace, bro…

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    Dioceses of a certain type have no problems at all with vocations. But perhaps the Archdiocese of Liverpool is not one of them.

    No, one has to be very careful and pedantic here in order to be quite clear about what you mean by “take up the slack”. 

    The “ordination” of Eucharistic Ministers as you call it (this is by the way a position of no canonical definition whatever) is clearly the wrong word to use because it effectively serves to cloud (deliberately?) the very clear distinction between the Ordained Priesthood (who can offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and who can forgive sins) and a layman, who cannot. 

    Please do not in any way suggest, posit, advance, the theory – a straight-forward heresy – that the latter is no different from the former. 

    If the priesthood falls, then what you have is not the Catholic Church nor the Catholic Faith, but mere protestantism.

    So why is the Archdiocese promoting exactly this? 170 priests is not a shortage.

  • Ghengis

    Sell Liverpool Aztec pyramid looking Cathedral and start the diocese over with a real Catholic Church. Priestly vocations have gone down precisely because priests have been emasculated to become just members of a team rather than religious leaders. Why would a person want to become a priest if laypeople run the parishes anyways. Let’s acknowledge the managerial disaster of undercutting the authority of clergy since the 60′s and recognize that vocations will only return when priests become respected authorities again rather than effeminate social workers who are just part of lay team.

  • http://twitter.com/Furry_Aminal Furry Animal

    Another piece of nonsense modernism.

  • teigitur

    Hardly surprising in a Diocese devestated by a certain, late, modernist Archbishop.

  • teigitur

    One disaster followed another.

  • http://ccfather.blogspot.com/ Ben Trovato

    I think a large part of the problem lies with the impoverished understanding of the Mass.  Once a priest got up early every day and offered the Sacrifice of the Mass.  

    Perhaps some of his flock were there, perhaps they were all still in bed.  Nonetheless, he knew he had done something of inestimable value for the salvation of their souls (and his) and the conversion of the world.

    Now he may say a 10.00 am Mass, the success of which is judged by the numbers who attend; and which may, apparently to everyone’s complete satisfaction, be substituted with a lay-led service (which may be better attended as Mrs Cannybody’s friends will all turn up…)

    Tell me that, at the human level, is not impoverishment of his vocation.

  • Nat_ons

    Well, this is not what the ‘progressive’ clique and their hermeneutic of discontinuity have always wanted and aimed at – a priestly people doing priestly things instead of their priests .. to free up the few ‘priests’ to offer social services not the sacrifice of the Mass etc?

    There is nothing wrong with the People of God doing priestly things, after all we are a royal priesthood, but to confuse the role of the bishop and his priests with the laity – the oversight and elders with the people – has to be an abuse of due orthodox catholic order!

    Sadly, many souls – chiefly women, it strikes me – have been sold a pup rather than the full grown dog they might imagine; for this disordered ‘lead role’ grows and consumes all around it .. if not properly disciplined; that is the logic of the Age of Aquarius.

    Thank the Good Lord this senseless ‘Age’ and its spirit are passing, and its facile ‘progress’ shall be blown to the winds with it, then perhaps we may finally implement what the Second Vatican Council actually set out .. a genuine renewal of magisterial Tradition to meet modern errors, needs and conditions – not the magisterium of nuns, trained-up lay Eucharistic Services to-go, with its DIY sub-Methodist liturgy-leaders (and not merely at funerals, baptisms and communions). Only in conditions of the gravest hardship should such notions be necessary, even more than apt – under strict terms; for in the bereft islands of Japan, in Penal Law Ireland, and more recently in brutal Communist States, the People of God have had to shift for themselves without local presbyteral rule .. all the while longing for the day the priesthood would be restored. Thus it is still in many extremely isolated parts of the world today, where some Catholics may have to travel many miles to find a priest – while, for the most part, looking to their own orthodox devotions and community life in Christ; this hardship is unavoidable – not so the many self-inflicted cruelties of a progressive ‘modern social relevance’ agenda set upon the Church by its own leadership since 1965 .. even in the comforts of metropolitan Liverpool.

  • Fr. Thomas Poovathinkal

     
    MAY BE IN THIS WAY WE ARE FORCED TO GO BACK TO THE WAY JESUS HIMSELF DID: HE RECRUITED HIS ORIGINAL TWELVE NOT FROM ANY SPECIAL GROUP BUT FROM ORDINARY PEOPLE (LAY PEOPLE?) WHO WERE FIT AND MATURE FOR HIS
    CALL TO “FOLLOW” HIM.

    WHY DO ALL THE WORLD MAKE SO MUCH NOISE WHEN CIRCUMSTANCES CHANGE AND DIFFERENT WAYS OF DOING THINGS, OR MEETING GENUINE HUMAN NEEDS ARE FORCED UP ON?

    IF THE OFFICIAL CHURCH  IN ITS DIFFERENT SECTORS WERE LEAD BY TRUE APOSTLES, INSTEAD OF BISHOPS THINGS WOULD BE IN TUNE WITH THE MIND OF CHRIST THE LORD.

  • Fr. Thomas Poovathinkal

     

    “Archbishop Kelly seems to have been a disaster for Liverpool.”

    ARCHBISHOP KELLY HERE IS BEING MOST PRACTICAL. HE IS NO DISASTER.

    LOOK, EVEN NATURE CHANGES THUS SEASONS FOLLOW AND BRING BLESSINGS TO HUMANITY; EVEN SO INSTITUTIONALISED CHRISTIANITY  AND THE THE OFFICIAL CHURCH  ARE BOUND TO UNDERGO CHANGES DISPLAYING SIGNS DEATH OR LIFE! IF JESUS THE LORD IS OBEYED AND LIVED IN THE CHURCH AND HIS WORD IS PROCLAIMED IN THE WAY OF TRUE APOSTLES, THEN IT IS LIFE, TRUE LIFE, ETERNAL LIFE; OR ELSE…..

  • Fr. Thomas Poovathinkal

     
    IT IS ALL FOR GOOD, LET US HOPE AND PRAY.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    Oh dear, oh dear. 

    Were the Apostles without sin? 

    You sound like one of those Fraticellis or Franciscan “Spirituals” of the 13th Century. Joachim of Fiore and his “Third Age of the Spirit”.

    Not a Jesuit by any chance, are you Father? I’ve heard all this guff from them in the past.  

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    To meet modern errors?

    The Council couldn’t even bring itself to condemn Communism, the demonic power of which was raging through the world at the time the Council sat. An absolute abrogation of the responsibility of the Church to condemn error.

    The only thing the Council in effect condemned was authentic Catholic Faith.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    And far more importantly, at the spiritual level.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    Father, you are straying here into the opinions of the 13th Fraticelli or Franciscan “Spirituals”. You may know how that ended. 

  • Nat_ons

    The Holy Ghost preserved it from addressing all such grave dogmatic issues – and considering the myriad of abuses by which the Council’s pastoral aims were (and are still) so grossly distorted, well, it would seem, He very properly reserved his own Holy Name from that type of fleshly failing.

    Yes, I repeat, the idea of the Blessed John XXIII was indeed to face the errors of the modern world, its requirements and its opportunities – with trustful hope in God (not man) via a council that would do so even as it looked back and listened to the voices of the popes that the attending pontifical Fathers had joy enough to hear.

    “In calling this vast assembly of bishops, the latest and humble successor to the Prince of the Apostles who is addressing you intended to assert once again the Magisterium, which is unfailing and perdures until the end of time, in order that this Magisterium, taking into account the errors, the requirements, and the opportunities of our time, might be presented in exceptional form to all men throughout the world.”  Blessed John XXIII, Opening Address to the Second Vatican Council.

    Of course, the modernising clique which had already wormed its way into all parts of the church catholic would have none of that assertion of the Magisterium, once again, rather turning the authority of the People of God into what it is now: the teaching authority of my opinion, not yours, mine (AKA the spirit of the Age of Aquarius or ‘relevance to the our world’).

    I believe the Spirit of God knew perfectly well what He was about in having this Council called when he did, and indicated it clearly in Blessed John’s opening address on the sickness and its cure that concerned Him: to take into account the errors and not just the requirements and opportunities presented at that novel time (different beyond belief as it was to that of St Pius X or Leo XIII and is that of Blessed John Paul II with our awesome Benedict XVI). For even if Pope John XXIII did not quite understand his own role in this operation, the Spirit set about offering the only medical treatment available to deal with a systemic infection already rampant in that seemingly super fit, bumper full, and eagerly active church of 1962 Anno Domini – before it became to late to act. Only in a body so healthy could so virulent a toxin be borne, and then bear patiently with both the disease being exposed and the horrific treatment needed – its pustular modernism, a gruelling, incisive inspection, and a long (seemingly endless, hydra-headed, redivivus-ridden) recuperation = all in the name of ‘Defence and Advancement of the Faith’, which He, the Holy Ghost, offers us as a treasure, Himself, in a living and active word (God’s own at work among us .. if we care to hear it amid our clamour).

    http://www.catholic-forum.com/saints/pope0261i.htm 

    The major interest of the Ecumenical Council is this: that the sacred heritage of Christian truth be safeguarded and expounded with greater efficacy. 

    Sadly, most of us still await that fruitful outcome in hunger and thirst .. but thank God for his health gift, the balm of our present Holy Father: Benedict XVI – and the rich harvest already springing forth for him.

  • Jon Brownridge

     Well said, Father.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    Four hundred Bishops petitioned Paul VI to let the Council condemn Communism. 

    He refused to even let them debate it.

    what does this tell us?

  • Pillarpark

    So when a lay person is conducting a ‘funeral service’ what will the 170 priests be doing that is so important?

  • scary goat

    “In some of our parishes in the diocese priests are being asked to
    celebrate over 120 funerals each year,” Archbishop Kelly wrote.
    “That does not neatly work out at two or three times a week,” he wrote. “Some weeks there can be six or seven.”

    Around 120 funerals per year? Isn’t that about 10 per month?  So, obviously, they are not evenly distributed, but how long does a Requiem Mass take?  

    Of course there are lots of areas where laity can take legitimate roles to relieve the pressure on over-worked priests, but funeral Masses????

    I read some comments on another site, can’t remember what the main article was, possibly something about the abuse crisis, but one poster was moaning about clericalism.  The next comment said “If there’s one thing I can’t stand more than clericalism, it’s a clericalised laity!”

    I thought the job of the clergy was to minister to the laity and the job of the laity was to go out and minister to the world in whatever capacity they have? Sorry, I don’t know about everyone else, but I would be most upset at the idea of not having a proper Requiem Mass (unless, of course, circumstances were so dire that it’s impossible).

     

  • Gildaswiseman

    Yes! the good Lord did choose twelve ordinary people to be his apostles and then He consecrated them Bishops to administer the Sacraments. The answer to the Church’;s problems can be remedied by simply  interpreting the documents of Vatican 11 within the traditional teaching of the Church and all of its dogmatic councils. If a conciliar texts contains ambiguities then the instruction is to follow the traditional meaning and ignore the modernist/liberal interpretation.
    The problem has been that over the last 50 years this instruction has been largely ignored and so we have become utterly impoverished. In order to ascertain a greater understanding of conciliar events and the changes that have occurred within the Church, the scholarly work of the late Michael Davis, Pope John Council, and Fr. Wiltgen’s equally scholarly book, The Rhine flow into the Tiber.  demonstrate how the liberal periti and Bishops took control of the Council and inserted ‘Time Bombs of double meanings.Today we suffer the consequences of such betrayals. There is always Judas in the Church.
    It should also be noted that the Council Father’s did not intend that the Gregorian/Tridentine Mass should be removed from daily Catholic life. only a wholesale return to this most esteemed liturgy will give the Priest back his sanctuary and his proper position as  Persona Christi.
    Our Lady of Fatama and Quito pray for us.

  • Gelasius

    This ‘Archbishop’ should be defrocked for his callous undermining of what is proper to those of Holy Orders. I have no patience for such folk who wish to benim that which is Holy and replace it with unholy things.

  • Rizzo the Bear

    Talk about walking backwards for Christmas! This is a sticking plaster to patch up a gaping hole in the Hoover Dam!
     
    If availability of a priest is a problem, why not hire Anfield or Goodison Park to gather all the faithful departed in their coffins, in neat lines, into the centre of the available stadia and do it ‘Moonie’ style? Easy peasy squeeze the lemons! You have your Requiem Mass, no excuses, job done.
     
    Well, I dread to think what the lay option would be like… imagine…
     
    Say I was in Liverpool Archdiocese and I popped this mortal coil. A lay person – whose daytime occupation could be anything from nightclub bouncer to Coco the Clown – will conduct my funeral in Church?
     
    I’ll write it in my will that I’d rather my corpse remain in a chest freezer with the choc ices and oven chips until a priest is available to celebrate my Requiem Mass, thank you very much! 
     
    What next? Lay people to conduct marriages, too? Why not go the whole hog and hire an Elvis impersonator to the parish whilst the priest is being stretched like a rubber band? Do me a favour!
     
    I praise and thank God, through Our Lord Jesus Christ, that he’s not my bishop.
     
    Here’s a helpful suggestion: The Archbishop encourage more vocations to the priesthood and religious life within the Archdiocese and invest precious time and resources to help seminarians go the distance after they are ordained with the right support networks?
     
    Is that not in the Archdiocesan to-do list of priorities?
     
     

  • Fr. Thomas Poovathinkal

     “Yes! the good Lord did choose twelve ordinary people to be his apostles
    and then He consecrated them Bishops to administer the Sacraments.”

    BISHOPS?

    LAUGHABLE INDEED!

    WHEN THE MINISTRY OF THE WORD(LOOK AT ITS FOUNDATIONAL IMPORTANCE: EVEN THE EUCHARIST IS EUCHARIST BECAUSE OF THE WORD OF GOD) IS UNDONE,  OR COMPROMISED EVEN THE SACRAMENTS BECOME MERE RITUALS OF THE DEAD – THE KIND OF DETESTABLE THING THE LORD SPOKE OF TO ONE YOUNG MAN WHOM HE INVITED TO FOLLOW , “LET THE DEAD BURY THEIR OWN DEAD, AS FOR YOU, COME, AND PROCLAIM THE KINGDOM OF GOD”.

    WHEN PRESSURE CAME ON THE APOSTLES TO DISTRIBUTE BREAD, THEY SAID, “THIS IS NOT OUR PROPER WORK. OUR WORK IS TO PROCLAIM THE WORD OF GOD. IF YOU WANT ORGANISE OTHERS FOR SUCH WORKS; SO DECONS CAME TO THE SCENE. LATER EVEN SOME OF THE DECONS, THE LORD PROMOTED AS APOSTLES. AND WHAT ABOUT ST. PAUL? HE IS IN PRACTICE THE GREATEST OF ALL APOSTLES. THE MOTHER OF THE LORD BECAME THE QUEEN OF THE APOSTLES. MARY MAGDALENE BECAME THE APOSTLE TO THE APOSTLES, IN THE WORDS OF POPE JOHN PAUL II.

    IF SUCH IS THE CASE, HOW PROPER IS IT FOR THOSE  WHO CLAIM THAT THEY HAVE INHERITED THE OFFICES OF THE  TWELVE APOSTLES TO REMAIN AS MERE BISHOPS?

    IF THE BISHOPS HAVE INHERITED THE OFFICES OF THE APOSTLES, THEY NEED TO LIVE AND FUNCTION LIKE THE APOSTLES FIRST AND FOREMOST. IT IS THE LORD HIMSELF WHO SAID, “BY THEIR FRUIT YOU SHALL KNOW THEM”. THIS PRINCIPLE THE LORD GAVE US APPLIES TO ALL SITUATIONS AND PEOPLE.

    WHAT FRUIT THE TWELVE DID PRODUCE! AND THEN COMPARE IT WITH WHAT SO MANY BISHOPS HAVE ACHIEVED; THESE ARE SO MANY BUT THE ORIGINAL TWELVE WERE JUST SO FEW.

    A “DYING CHURCH” LIKE THE ONE IN EUROPE AND EVEN AMERICAS NEED APOSTLES AND NOT BISHOPS THE KIND OF ONES AS WE HAVE THEM IN SUPER ABUNDANCE -  IN ALL OVER  SO MANY DENOMINATIONAL CHURCHES.

  • kentgeordie

    I can’t say I’m too fussy about exactly what happens at my funeral, but somehow I always took it for granted that a priest would be involved. This is quite upsetting news.

  • Pillarpark

    I suggest that such a move has nothing to do with the current shortage of priests but rather a lazy and easy way out of fulfilling the obligations for a Requiem Mass for the soul of the departed and just a further step towards the Protestantism of the Catholic Church. I wouldn’t be surprised if the growing trend in the false belief that we now all go straight to heaven, whilst ignoring or denying the existence of Purgatory, has contributed to this down playing of the need for a Requiem Mass.
    Are there no Sunday masses or weekday masses in Liverpool anymore or is Liverpool expecting an outbreak of bubonic plague that will make it impossible to properly bury the great number of dead?Liverpool is hardly the Great Australian Outback or some South American rain forest so even if there were only a dozen priests in Liverpool I still don’t see how it would not be possible to arrange for funeral masses to coincide with priests daily masses. It’s not that the priests are expected to actually dig the graves and personally carry the coffin in and out of the church.

  • Nat_ons

    As I say, the Holy Ghost knows what he is about – even if four hundred bishops do not have the understanding that they could condemn communism .. as they must .. with their own ordinary infallible authority (with or without a special permission from the Holy Father in Council).
    The Servant of God Paul VI was no revolutionary, nor was he a reactionary; he sought to teach the Faith in season and out – consider the bishops and contraception (and their theologians reaction to Humanae Vitae – rejecting it).Communism – like Nazism – is an error-fed political movement, as such it is not an error in catholic faith but filled with errors detrimental to the Faith.”It is for these reasons that We are driven to repudiate such ideologies as deny God and oppress the Church-We repudiate them as Our predecessors did, and as everyone must do who firmly believes in the excellence and importance of religion. These ideologies are often identified with economic, social and political regimes; atheistic communism is a glaring instance of this. Yet is it really so much we who condemn them? One might say that it is rather they and their politicians who are clearly repudiating us, and for doctrinaire reasons subjecting us to violent oppression. Truth to tell, the voice we raise against them is more the complaint of a victim than the sentence of a judge.” Paul VI, Eccesiam Suam.To understand Paul VI’s seemingly ambivalent attitude to Communism – the error-fed regime – or rather toward individual communists – those who had wandered from Christ and his community – I suspect that less of the hyped-up international angst and more of a Italian good humour needs to be considered. God does not desire the death of the sinner but his reclamation, the Venerable Pius XII showed this of the souls wrapped in the turmoil of Fascist and Marxist brutalities (after all, as a diplomat, he sought to arrange accommodations with both Germany and the Soviet Union between the World Wars); Paul VI understood it of his fellow country men .. who could, on a number of occasions, have adopted a Tito-style form of then fashionable Communism (but settled for inept, yet often elegant, Socialism). And it is the Spirit of God who is not mocked with impunity even in these worldly matters, not least where God’s servants seem to be idiotic in their actions; for example, it is wrong-headed (perhaps even heresy) to label Don Camillo a ‘Communist’ because he sees Mayor Peppone as a ‘Man’ .. and a well-intentioned if flawed man .. not as a stereotype, and if he tries to understand him as both struggle also to understand themselves before Christ (in that same, all too human, light: the Cross); so too, in my opinion, it is simply wrong to call Paul VI a Communist because he sought (in reality, not merely writing) to engage with error fed souls, who tried to ameliorate ‘the lot of the down-trodden in a callous economic world’ (as they saw it), and because he also did seemingly idiotic things (in the eyes of the world) to try and get them back on Christ’s side (but more often as not failed, in worldly terms, because Moscow and Peking are nothing like Milan or Rome) .. 

    http://doncamilloblog.wordpress.com/ 

  • Simon Ho

    Since the Second Vatican Council, only Bisops, Priests and Deacons are ordained.

    The role of the laity is primarily in the world. I wonder if the push for lay ecclesiastical ministers is related to the increasing tendency to interpret freedom of religion as merely freedom of worship – the restriction of the Faith to worship.

    While it is useful for a layperson to lead the wake and committal services, I would much prefer the requiem Mass to be the norm. The 1990 Order if Christian Funerals allows for funerals to delay the requiem Mass station to a later date, perhaps that might be a clearer sign to the faithful that the shortage of Priestly vocations cannot be a blessing from God, and the local Church should mourn for its lack of fruitfulness.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    And you are a Catholic priest? 

  • Charles Martel

    I am going to put in my will that I must have a priest of the Catholic Church celebrating a Requiem Mass with the 1962 books – with no post-1962 corruptions, ‘ad orientem’, with no eulogy of any kind and preferably not even mentioning my name more than once in the sermon. And that I wish to be buried according to said rites, not cremated. I don’t anyone to do anything properly any more.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWZKI7JBARE4DDT3NQ22RWMOJE Benedict Carter

    Hear, hear!

  • AnthonyPatrick

     Sorry, I meant “… their duty”, of course.  That’s how impatient it made me feel…

  • AnthonyPatrick

     Exactly, Nat_ons.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adrian-Johnson/100002117620278 Adrian Johnson

    I think if people baldly, nay, crassly tell their priests that they have written Wills such that that a generous stipend will be given the Pastor or Deacon who officiates at their funeral — but none to a presiding layperson — and lets the pastor know this beforehand, the pastors will surely be able to prevent funerals conducted by lay people.  This may smack of “simony” but it’s not. . . it’s merely an “incentive”

    By the way — though priests are canonically limited to saying two Masses in a day (except Christmas and Easter) any Bishop can extend permission to say three daily Masses to all priests in his diocese.  It’s that easy.  As for the “priest shortage”, all any parish needs to do is institute Eucharistic Adoration specifically for increase of vocations, and after a year you Will see at least one authentic vocation arise in that parish.  Christ himself assured us that if we prayed to the Lord of the Harvest for laborers, our prayers would be granted.  We just aren’t praying enough–that’s our fault, not His.  (Whether a good man is denied entry to a seminary who doesn’t want good men is another matter).

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adrian-Johnson/100002117620278 Adrian Johnson

    I repeat:   Christ himself assured us that if we prayed to the Lord of the Harvest for laborers, our prayers would be granted.  We just aren’t praying enough–that’s our fault, not His.  

    I have seen more than one parish that got a few “regulars” to institute once-a-week Eucharistic Adoration for the specific intention of vocations to the Priesthood and religious life (we need both) Within one year the vocations make themselves known so that they can be encouraged in the parish.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adrian-Johnson/100002117620278 Adrian Johnson

    God deliver me from a bishop so “practical” he wants lay people to conduct funerals! ‘”. . .  INSTITUTIONALISED CHRISTIANITY  AND THE OFFICIAL CHURCH  ARE BOUND TO UNDERGO CHANGES DISPLAYING SIGNS OF DEATH OR LIFE! ”  –If so,  Archbishop Kelly is definitely fostering “changes displaying signs of death” ;-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adrian-Johnson/100002117620278 Adrian Johnson

    O ye of little faith.  If Archbishop Kelly was properly “reacting to the reality of the times”, and he really took the Gospel seriously, (“Pray to the Lord of the Harvest”. . . and, “Ask and ye shall receive. . .”)  he would be encouraging prayer for vocations.   He doesn’t seem to place much faith in the power of prayer. 

    Wow, what an inspiringly modern bishop !–    

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adrian-Johnson/100002117620278 Adrian Johnson

    And if you ask one of the new Anglican Ordinariate Priests to conduct a beautiful English Requiem Mass, they will be happy to do it wearing black vestments.  
    Some will even say your Mass ad orientem.  

  • Gildaswiseman

    IF SUCH IS THE CASE, HOW PROPER IS IT FOR THOSE  WHO CLAIM THAT THEY HAVE INHERITED THE OFFICES OF THE  TWELVE APOSTLES TO REMAIN AS MERE BISHOPS?I do not know exactly what you mean by “MERE BISHOPS. I presume , if you are a Catholic priest, they taught you in the seminary that the Church is a hierarchy. The Pope, the Bishop of Rome, is charged with the mission to “feed my sheep” and the Bishops, within their dioceses, are consecrated to assist him in this Opus Dei, The food we are fed with is the Sacraments; especially  the Bread of Life. The Body and Blood,. Soul and Divinity of Our Blessed Saviour.  The mission of the laity is to assist at Holy Mass and to live a life of Catholic fervour. and then at the end of our lives to hopefully receive Extreme Unction and a Requiem Mass. Only a validly ordained priest can fulfil this ministry.

    Living a Catholic life as a member of the laity does not mean taking over the role of priest or deacon. The blurring of distinction is another reason why the Church in the modern world is so impoverished. This is why we should return to the Traditional Mass and pray for vocations to the priesthood. A universal return to this ancient and enriched liturgy will, I sincerely believe, bring the necessary graces & blessings from God and in turn resurrect the Church in the tomb.

     If we feel that our Bishops are failing to “enlighten, guide and sanctify” the children of God then we should earnestly pray for them and if necessary inform them, in all charity, of our fears for their immortal souls and ours; including especially the souls of our children.. 
    The non Catholic denominations are not good example for us to follow as they are still living in error. Our own historical  examples of renewal and especially the lives of our saints such as St. Francis of Assisi (Deacon) is a better position to draw from.