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Who may participate in the rite of the washing of feet during the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper?

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The Roman Missal rubric in the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper, under the title “The Washing of Feet,” reads:

“After the Homily, where a pastoral reason suggests it, the Washing of Feet follows. Those who have been chosen from among the people of God are led by the ministers to seats prepared in a suitable place. Then the priest (removing his chasuble if necessary) goes to each one, and, with the help of the ministers, pours water over each one’s feet and then dries them” (nos. 10-11).
At the instruction of Pope Francis, the rite of the washing of feet on Holy Thursday has been modified to lawfully permit a wider representation of the People of God to take part in the ceremony. The Holy Father’s decision has been made effective by a decree of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, dated January 6, 2016.

Until 2016, the relevant rubric in the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord’s Supper in the Roman Missal indicated that “The men who have been chosen [viri selecti] are led by the ministers to seats prepared in a suitable place.” Henceforth that text will read “Those who are chosen from among the people of God are led by the ministers to seats prepared in a suitable place.” In the Ceremonial of Bishops, this same text is also modified, as well as a rubric describing the items necessary for the Holy Thursday Mass: “seats for the men chosen” is changed to “seats for those chosen.”

Pope Francis explained in his decision that he had been reflecting on the foot-washing ritual for some time, and determined that it needed to better reflect “the significance of the gesture Jesus performed in the Upper Room, giving himself ‘to the very end’ for the salvation of the world, his boundless charity.” To that end, he ordered that the rubrics be modified to permit participants for the rite to be chosen “from among all members of the People of God,” and likewise insisted that those who are chosen receive an explanation of the meaning of the ceremony.

Carrying out the instruction of the Holy Father, the Congregation’s decree provides specific suggestions as to the nature of this representative group: men and women, young and old, healthy and sick, clergy, religious, and laity. The decree echoes the Holy Father’s letter by reminding pastors of their duty to help the faithful have a conscious, active, and fruitful participation in the ritual. The modification does not, however, change the fact that the rite is not an obligatory part of that Mass, but rather is something to be carried out “where a pastoral reason suggests it” (Roman Missal, Mass of the Lord’s Supper, no. 10).

See the whole text: http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/liturgical-year/triduum/holy-thursday-mandatum.cfm

 

Written by Erineus

March 24, 2016 at 3:52 am

Who has the right to lodge a complaint when there is a liturgical abuse? To whom it should be addressed and how it should be dealt with?

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Should the laity be involved with helping to correct liturgical abuses, or should they simply leave this up to professional liturgists and pastors?

In order that a remedy may be applied to such abuses, “there is a pressing need for the biblical and liturgical formation of the people of God, both pastors and faithful,” so that the Church’s faith and discipline concerning the sacred liturgy may be accurately presented and understood. Where abuses persist, however, proceedings should be undertaken for safeguarding the spiritual patrimony and rights of the Church in accordance with the law, employing all legitimate means (RS 170; cf. VQA 15).

Who has the primary responsibility on the local level for dealing with liturgical abuses?

Since he must safeguard the unity of the universal Church, the bishop is bound to promote the discipline common to the entire Church and therefore to insist upon the observance of all ecclesiastical laws. He is to be watchful lest abuses encroach upon ecclesiastical discipline, especially as regards the ministry of the word, the celebration of the sacraments and sacramentals, the worship of God, and the veneration of the saints (RS 392).

What should happen when the local ordinary is notified that a significant liturgical abuse is taking place?

Whenever a local ordinary or the ordinary of a religious institute or of a society of apostolic life receives at least a plausible notice of a delict [“offense”] or abuse concerning the Most Holy Eucharist, let him carefully investigate, either personally or by means of another worthy cleric, concerning the facts and the circumstances as well as the imputability.

Delicts against the faith as well as graviora delicta [“more grave offenses”] committed in the celebration of the Eucharist and the other sacraments are to be referred without delay to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which “examines [them] and, if necessary, proceeds to the declaration or imposition of canonical sanctions according to the norm of common or proper law.”

Otherwise the ordinary should proceed according the norms of the sacred canons, imposing canonical penalties if necessary, and bearing in mind in particular that which is laid down by canon 1326.2 If the matter is serious [Latin, “grave”], let him inform the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (RS 178–80; cf. PB 52).

What happens when Rome is notified of a liturgical abuse that is taking place?

Whenever the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments receives at least a plausible notice of a delict or an abuse concerning the Most Holy Eucharist, it informs the ordinary so that he may investigate the matter. When the matter turns out to be serious [Latin, “grave”], the ordinary should send to the same dicastery as quickly as possible a copy of the acts of the inquiry that has been undertaken, and where necessary, the penalty imposed (RS 181).

Do the faithful have the right to lodge complaints regarding liturgical abuses, and to whom should such complaints be addressed?

Any Catholic, whether priest or deacon or lay member of Christ’s faithful, has the right to lodge a complaint regarding a liturgical abuse to the diocesan bishop or the competent ordinary equivalent to him in law, or to the Apostolic See on account of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff. It is fitting, however, insofar as possible, that the report or complaint be submitted first to the diocesan bishop. This is naturally to be done in truth and charity (RS 184).

Is it okay for a lay person to preach during the Mass?

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Is it okay for a lay person to preach during the Mass?

This is clearly a liturgical abuse if it is truly happening. The General Instruction of the Roman Missal states:

The homily should ordinarily be given by the priest celebrant himself. He may entrust it to a concelebrating priest or occasionally, according to circumstances, to the deacon, but never to a lay person. In particular cases and for a just cause, the homily may even be given by a bishop or a priest who is present at the celebration but cannot concelebrate. (GIRM 66)

The Church recently released a new document dealing with liturgical abuses. The document is entitled Redemptionis Sacramentum (Latin, “The Sacrament of Redemption”). It was prepared by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments at the request of Pope John Paul II, and it offers practical rules (norms) concerning how Mass is to be celebrated and how the Eucharist is to be treated. It focuses on liturgical abuses that have been occurring in recent years.

Redemptionis Sacramentum reiterates GIRM 66 and adds the following:

  • It should be borne in mind that any previous norm that may have admitted non-ordained faithful to give the homily during the eucharistic celebration is to be considered abrogated by the norm of canon [law]. This practice is reprobated, so that it cannot be permitted to attain the force of custom. (RS 65)
  • The prohibition of the admission of laypersons to preach within the Mass applies also to seminarians, students of theological disciplines, and those who have assumed the function of those known as “pastoral assistants”; nor is there to be any exception for any other kind of layperson, or group, or community, or association (RS 66).
  • If the need arises for the gathered faithful to be given instruction or testimony by a layperson in a Church concerning the Christian life, it is altogether preferable that this be done outside Mass. Nevertheless, for serious reasons it is permissible that this type of instruction or testimony be given after the priest has proclaimed the Prayer after Communion. This should not become a regular practice, however. Furthermore, these instructions and testimony should not be of such a nature that they could be confused with the homily, nor is it permissible to dispense with the homily on their account. (RS 74)
  • As was already noted above, the homily on account of its importance and its nature is reserved to the priest or deacon during Mass. As regards other forms of preaching, if necessity demands it in particular circumstances, or if usefulness suggests it in special cases, lay members of Christ’s faithful may be allowed to preach in a church or in an oratory outside Mass in accordance with the norm of law. This may be done only on account of a scarcity of sacred ministers in certain places, in order to meet the need, and it may not be transformed from an exceptional measure into an ordinary practice, nor may it be understood as an authentic form of the advancement of the laity. All must remember besides that the faculty for giving such permission belongs to the local ordinary [bishop], and this as regards individual instances; this permission is not the competence of anyone else, even if they are priests or deacons. (RS 161)
  • The document goes on to explain that abuses such as this “are not to be considered of little account” and are to be “carefully avoided and corrected.” (RS 174)

Any Catholic, whether priest or deacon or lay member of Christ’s faithful, has the right to lodge a complaint regarding a liturgical abuse to the diocesan bishop or the competent ordinary equivalent to him in law, or to the Apostolic See on account of the primacy of the Roman pontiff. It is fitting, however, insofar as possible, that the report or complaint be submitted first to the diocesan bishop. This is naturally to be done in truth and charity. (RS 184)

What does the Church say to those who have committed or turned a blind eye to abuses?

Let bishops, priests, and deacons, in the exercise of the sacred ministry, examine their consciences as regards the authenticity and fidelity of the actions they have performed in the name of Christ and the Church in the celebration of the sacred liturgy. Let each one of the sacred ministers ask himself, even with severity, whether he has respected the rights of the lay members of Christ’s faithful, who confidently entrust themselves and their children to him, relying on him to fulfill for the faithful those sacred functions that the Church intends to carry out in celebrating the sacred liturgy at Christ’s command. For each one should always remember that he is a servant of the sacred liturgy (186).

 

Written by Erineus

July 21, 2014 at 12:57 am

When a cleric is found guilty of sexual abuse of a minor what canonical measures can be applied?

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The canonical measures applied in dealing with a cleric found guilty of sexual abuse of a minor are generally of two kinds: 1) measures which completely restrict public ministry or at least exclude the cleric from any contact with minors. These measures can be reinforced with a penal precept; 2) ecclesiastical penalties, among which the most grave is the dismissal from the clerical state.

In some cases, at the request of the cleric himself, a dispensation from the obligations of the clerical state, including celibacy, can be given pro bono Ecclesiae.

Circular Letter, To Assist Episcopal Conferences In Developing Guidelines  For Dealing With Cases Of Sexual Abuses Of Minors Perpetrated By Clerics, Rome, from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 3 May 2011

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20110503_abuso-minori_en.html

Who is responsible for dealing with cases of sexual abuse of minors?

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The responsibility for dealing with cases of sexual abuse of minors belongs, in the first place, to Bishops or Major Superiors. If an accusation seems true the Bishop or Major Superior, or a delegate, ought to carry out the preliminary investigation in accord with CIC can. 1717, CCEO can. 1468, and SST art. 16.

If the accusation is considered credible, it is required that the case be referred to the CDF. Once the case is studied the CDF will indicate the further steps to be taken. At the same time, the CDF will offer direction to assure that appropriate measures are taken which both guarantee a just process for the accused priest, respecting his fundamental right of defense, and care for the good of the Church, including the good of victims. In this regard, it should be noted that normally the imposition of a permanent penalty, such as dismissal from the clerical state, requires a penal judicial process. In accord with canon law (cf. CIC can. 1342) the Ordinary is not able to decree permanent penalties by extrajudicial decree. The matter must be referred to the CDF which will make the definitive judgement on the guilt of the cleric and his unsuitability for ministry, as well as the consequent imposition of a perpetual penalty (SST art. 21, §2).

Circular Letter, To Assist Episcopal Conferences In Developing Guidelines  For Dealing With Cases Of Sexual Abuses Of Minors Perpetrated By Clerics, Rome, from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 3 May 2011

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20110503_abuso-minori_en.html

What is the prescription of a criminal action against perpetrator of crime against minors

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The extension of the term of prescription of a criminal action to twenty years, maintaining the right of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to derogate from prescription on a case by case basis (art. 7).

A brief introduction to the modifications made in the Normae de gravioribus delictis, reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, given at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 21 May 2010.

http://www.vatican.va/resources/resources_rel-modifiche_en.html

Written by Erineus

April 2, 2014 at 2:47 pm

What are some considerations in dealing with sexual crime against minors

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I. General considerations:

a) The victims of sexual abuse:

The Church, in the person of the Bishop or his delegate, should be prepared to listen to the victims and their families, and to be committed to their spiritual and psychological assistance. In the course of his Apostolic trips our Holy Father, Benedict XVI, has given an eminent model of this with his availability to meet with and listen to the victims of sexual abuse. In these encounters the Holy Father has focused his attention on the victims with words of compassion and support, as we read in his Pastoral Letter to the Catholics of Ireland (n.6): “You have suffered grievously and I am truly sorry. I know that nothing can undo the wrong you have endured. Your trust has been betrayed and your dignity has been violated.”

b) The protection of minors:

In some countries programs of education and prevention have been begun within the Church in order to ensure “safe environments” for minors. Such programs seek to help parents as well as those engaged in pastoral work and schools to recognize the signs of abuse and to take appropriate measures. These programs have often been seen as models in the commitment to eliminate cases of sexual abuse of minors in society today.

c) The formation of future priests and religious:

In 2002, Pope John Paul II stated, “there is no place in the priesthood and religious life for those who would harm the young” (n. 3, Address to the American Cardinals, 23 April 2002). These words call to mind the specific responsibility of Bishops and Major Superiors and all those responsible for the formation of future priests and religious. The directions given in the Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Dabo Vobis as well as the instructions of the competent Dicasteries of the Holy See take on an even greater importance in assuring a proper discernment of vocations as well as a healthy human and spiritual formation of candidates. In particular, candidates should be formed in an appreciation of chastity and celibacy, and the responsibility of the cleric for spiritual fatherhood. Formation should also assure that the candidates have an appreciation of the Church’s discipline in these matters. More specific directions can be integrated into the formation programs of seminaries and houses of formation through the respective Ratio institutionis sacerdotalis of each nation, Institute of Consecrated Life and Society of Apostolic Life.

Particular attention, moreover, is to be given to the necessary exchange of information in regard to those candidates to priesthood or religious life who transfer from one seminary to another, between different dioceses, or between religious Institutes and dioceses.

d) Support of Priests

1. The bishop has the duty to treat all his priests as father and brother. With special attention, moreover, the bishop should care for the continuing formation of the clergy, especially in the first years after Ordination, promoting the importance of prayer and the mutual support of priestly fraternity. Priests are to be well informed of the damage done to victims of clerical sexual abuse. They should also be aware of their own responsibilities in this regard in both canon and civil law. They should as well be helped to recognize the potential signs of abuse perpetrated by anyone in relation to minors;

2. In dealing with cases of abuse which have been denounced to them the bishops are to follow as thoroughly as possible the discipline of canon and civil law, with respect for the rights of all parties;

3. The accused cleric is presumed innocent until the contrary is proven. Nonetheless the bishop is always able to limit the exercise of the cleric’s ministry until the accusations are clarified. If the case so warrants, whatever measures can be taken to rehabilitate the good name of a cleric wrongly accused should be done.

e) Cooperation with Civil Authority

Sexual abuse of minors is not just a canonical delict but also a crime prosecuted by civil law. Although relations with civil authority will differ in various countries, nevertheless it is important to cooperate with such authority within their responsibilities. Specifically, without prejudice to the sacramental internal forum, the prescriptions of civil law regarding the reporting of such crimes to the designated authority should always be followed. This collaboration, moreover, not only concerns cases of abuse committed by clerics, but also those cases which involve religious or lay persons who function in ecclesiastical structures.

Circular Letter, To Assist Episcopal Conferences In Developing Guidelines  For Dealing With Cases Of Sexual Abuses Of Minors Perpetrated By Clerics, Rome, from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 3 May 2011

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20110503_abuso-minori_en.html

Written by Erineus

April 2, 2014 at 2:26 pm