Tuesday, January 25, 2022


 In the heady days after Vatican II there was great excitement about lay ministries and declericalizing priests by clericalizing laity, usually women. I must say that some of the most “clerical” people I have experienced in the Church aren’t priests and deacons, but laity protecting their turf. 

But I digress.

Let me be clear, I have no problem with lay leadership and consulting laity. I have hired quite of few over the years and have always had more women in leadership roles as volunteers then men but also paid.

I have no problem with girl or boy altar servers or adult men and women taking on the role. 

But, ho hum for most Catholics today who still bother to attend Mass, the 5% to 25% of Catholics who do. Are they truly excited, inspired and motivated in their Catholicism by what Pope Francis did on Sunday installing the first ever female lectors in what had been reserved for men? NO, they aren’t excited and could care less, but maybe one or two do find it exhilarating. 

And thus the genius of the EF Mass—people there just want Christ and to experience Him in a mystical way for their eternal salvation. And they take their faith seriously enough to go to Confession regularly, procreate like rabbits, to quote Pope Francis, and to strive to make their homes the Church in miniature and to help the poor as best they can by showing charity at home and to others. 

Lay ministries don’t excite Catholics anymore nor novelties in the Church—that’s a 1960’s phenomenon and most from the 60’s who were thrilled by it then are dead now, or nones or in memory care units. 

Ho hum…Just saying. 


ByzRus said...

The cheesy smile on PF's face is so reminiscent of "the era". The only thing missing is Sister Joan Fuzzy-Hair and "Peg" the Mega-Ultra-Super Empowered DRE grinning along side.

In the Byzantine Church, we do have the minor order of Reader. While this is mostly a step to the major orders, there are some who maintain this order permanently. Beyond that, at Divine Liturgy and at your average parish, there's the priest/celebrant, perhaps a deacon, perhaps servers and a cantor/choir/schola in the choir loft. Those serving are behind the iconostas and are mostly not visible except when their role requires them to appear before the people. My point? We look through the gates that separate heaven and earth in our church temple, seeing the priest interceding on our behalf during this work, this prayer, undertaking this dialogue with our lord and calling the spirit down. The rest is superfluous from our perspective. It would seem that the same is the case with the EF as well.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Pope Benedict was correct, the new Church now being recovered by Pope Francis is that self referential closed circle of horizontal on lookers. Hi hum!

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Even the man smiling gets dissed.

What's next? Is his chin too far from his ears, his eyebrows too far apart, his limp a put-on to garner sympathy?

John Nolan said...


Very well put. In 2010 I attended Sunday Mass at St Paul Outside-the-Walls in Rome. It was decently done, and the sung Ordinary was in Latin, including Credo I. One of the readings was given by a woman - no surprise there, after all it was the OF - but the lady accompanying me was highly disapproving: 'It wouldn't happen in my Church'. She is a Ukrainian Catholic (Byzantine rite).

She is also a modern liberated woman who at the time was in a high-powered job with the United Nations and knows how to succeed in a man's world.

Catechist is not a 'ministry' which requires formal installation. This fixation on 'ministry' is a post-Vatican II conceit. The person who hands you a hymn book is a 'minister'. The ageing hippy strumming a guitar is exercising a 'music ministry'. Simply turning up for Mass surely constitutes a 'ministry'. Nonsense on stilts.

TJM said...

Father K,

Are you describing yourself?

Thomas Garrett said...

Citizen: "But Mr. Secretary, Fearless Leader, we can't do that! We'd be breaking the law!"

Dictator: "I AM the law."