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Non-Catholic Readers QUESTION from John Farrier April 18, 2000
The question is, Can non-Catholic students at a private catholic school read the readings? I can not find where it is possible in the rubrics of the mass. I have been told by our board that it should be allowed because of the following Directory For The Application Of Principles And Norms On Ecumenism. 133. The reading of Scripture during a Eucharistic celebration in the Catholic Church is to be done by members of that Church. On exceptional occasions and for a just cause, the Bishop of the diocese may permit a member of another Church or ecclesial Community to take on the task of reader. I would appreciate any help discussion that you can give me? Thanks John Farrier ANSWER by Mr. John Miskell on April 18, 2000
Dear John, As per the document you just cited, note that non-Catholics may read but only, on exceptional occasions and for a just cause and only with the permission of the Bishop. Is it unjust to exclude non-Catholics from doing the readings? I personally don't believe it is, but it's up to your bishop, not the school to decide whether this is an exceptional occasion or a just cause. Normally, non-Catholics are not allowed to function as readers. On Certain Questions Regarding the Collaboration of the Non-Ordained Faithful in the Sacred Ministry of Priest Article 13 Necessary Selection and Adequate Formation Should it become necessary to provide for supplementary assistance in any of the cases mentioned above, the competent Authority is bound to select lay faithful of sound doctrine and exemplary moral life. CATHOLICS who do not live worthy lives or who do not enjoy good reputations or whose family situations do not conform to the teaching of the Church MAY NOT be admitted to the exercise of such functions. In addition, those chosen should possess that level of formation necessary for the discharge of the responsibilities entrusted to them. In accordance with the norms of particular law, they should perfect their knowledge particularly by attending, in so far as possible, those formation courses organized for them by the competent ecclesiastical authority in the particular Churches, (112) (in environments other than that of the Seminary, as this is reserved solely for those preparing for the priest hood). (113) Great care must be exercised so that these courses conform absolutely to the teaching of the ecclesiastical magisterium and they must be imbued with a true spirituality. The Supreme Pontiff, in Audience of the 13th of August 1997 approved in forma specifica this present Instruction and ordered its promulgation. Vatican City 15 August 1997, the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I hope this helps you. In Christ, John Miskell Back to Index Page

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