Sunday, February 8, 2009

Re: "On Certain Questions Regarding the Collaboration of the Non-Ordained Faithful in the Sacred Ministry of Priest"

Many people are at a loss as to why the Bishop's appeal is seeking to raise funds for Father Ronald Cioffi's Office of Social Concerns. Father Cioffi has NEVER denied, refuted, nor rescinded this quote: "You may vote for a person who is pro-choice if you feel you have a moral reason to support the candidate for his stand on other issues."

There are other baffling aspects about this appeal. For example, the Wyeth Corporation is among the WORLD’s top three manufacturers of hormonal contraceptives <http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PNADF983.pdf>; hormonal contraceptives can act as abortifacients. Obviously, the Diocese would not make corporate appeals to Penthouse, Playboy, or Planned Parenthood. Yet rather than offer moral & spiritual guidance, the appeal tells Wyeth and its employees to: "Please make checks payable to the Diocese of Trenton" <www.bishopsannualappeal.com/matchinggifts.php>!

As per the Vatican's 1997 "On Certain Questions Regarding the Collaboration of the Non-Ordained Faithful in the Sacred Ministry of Priest", "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." Yet, the appeal is specifically promoting lay "chaplains" and "coordinators" <www.bishopsannualappeal.com/index.php>. Please explain.
I believe that it was Pope John Paul II who first warned of a "clericalization of the laity" and a "laicization of the clergy." Both processes diminish our mutual and complementary roles. To be blunt, both of us get "dissed" by counterfeit understandings of our callings.

Failures to understand and appreciate the clergy are legendary. As a lay person, husband, and dad, however, I am especially attuned to failures to appreciate the vocation and sacrament of marriage. I wish that there could be a vastly improved dissemination of the late Pope's beautiful Christifideles Laici.

While its title may be a mouthful & its pages may have collected much dust, the Vatican's 1997 "On Certain Questions Regarding the Collaboration of the Non-Ordained Faithful in the Sacred Ministry of Priest" is a fabulous document. Some may have shied away from it with the MISTAKEN notion that it downplayed the laity. Quite the contrary! It reminds all of us of the need for "a full recovery of the awareness of the secular nature of the mission of the laity."

Coming from a deep appreciation of the proper, distinct-but-complementary roles of the clergy and laity, the document shows a deep awareness of the need for clarity: "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." Its conclusion includes two powerful quotes from Pope John Paul II:
  • "the particular gift of each of the Church's members must be wisely and carefully acknowledged, safeguarded, promoted, discerned and co-ordinated, without confusing roles functions or theological and canonical status."
  • "It should also be understood that these clarifications and distinctions do not stem from a concern to defend clerical privileges but from the need to be obedient to the will of Christ, and to respect the constitutive form which he indelibly impressed on his Church" <www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/laity/documents/rc_con_interdic_doc_15081997_en.html>.

A dozen years after "On Certain Questions Regarding the Collaboration of the Non-Ordained Faithful in the Sacred Ministry of Priest", why is the annual appeal promoting lay "chaplains" and "coordinators" <www.bishopsannualappeal.com/index.php>? It almost feels as though Christifideles Laici was never written.

The Beatitudes from "Jesus of Nazareth"

 

Use of Emergency So-Called Contraceptives in Catholic Hospitals for Those Reporting Rape

Book & Film Reviews, pt 1

Book & Film Reviews, pt 2

Blog Archive

About Me

I am an enormously blessed husband and dad. In regard to my Catholic theological background, I have a certificate in social ministry & a master's degree (moral theology concentration), as well as a catechetical diploma from the Vatican's Sacred Congregation for the Clergy (Nope, I am not now - nor have I have ever been - a seminarian, deacon, or priest.). I feel particularly proud to have a mandatum. I also have a doctorate in Christian counseling psychology.

And yup, that's me!

And yup, that's me!
(from page 1 of the NY Sun, 3/22/04)

Total Pageviews

12/12/08 Interview with Rev. Tad Pacholczyk, Ph.D. of the National Catholic Bioethics Center

March for Life 2010

CatholicsComeHome.org