Sunday, April 21, 2013
WAS THERE NO LAY PARTICIPATION, MALE OR FEMALE, AT TODAY'S PRIESTLY ORDINATION WITH POPE FRANCIS?
As I watched the ordination of priests from Saint Peter's Basilica with Pope Francis, I noted that the only ministries of the Mass that lay people were involved with was with the choirs. No lay lectors. The lectors were candidates for the priesthood who have been installed in the formal ministry of "Lector."
So what does this say about Pope Francis allowing such a thing at a pontifical Mass? After all, didn't Vatican II say that the laity should be involved in the Liturgy of the Church?
Yes, actively so, both silently and verbally and through singing. And there was plenty of this type of actual participation at this Mass. But, yes, not lectors and certainly no Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion and only two lay people brought up the offerings, not a hoard of them.
So are we getting a message here? I don't think so since lay people have read at Masses with Popes Benedict and Francis. But Pope Francis has said that the worst thing to happen to a priest or lay person is clericalism. We've clericalized the laity in the last 50 years and they have knelt before us asking to be. But Pope Francis understands that the ambo (pulpit) of the laity is the world in which they live, the churchy ambo is the ordained priest's place to preach, but also with his life.
Pope Francis makes clear that the laity's primary ministry is in the world, in their homes, their marriage, in the work place and in politics and at play. That's pretty powerful stuff and their actual participation in the world by bringing their Catholic faith and morals to it is what we should have been focusing on for the past 50 years rather than all the liturgical stuff as important or unimportant it these has been! Could you imagine if we had spent as much time, energy and resources on liturgical renewal and renovations as we should have on the laity's proper formation, what a better Church we'd be today with all the generations of Vatican II and afterward actually renewed and living their faith and not just 20 to 25% of them. How awesome would that be! Let's open the windows with this new springtime with Pope Francis and stop breathing the waters of a swamp, and it had a bad smell.