CNS picks up the story as their lead headline today. Before Redemptionis Sacramentum a bishop had the power to authorize lay preaching in his diocese. Aware that some canonists disagreed, it is deceptive at best, and at worst a bold-faced lie to suggest lay preaching in general is a “liturgical abuse,” as some have said.
Archbishop Flynn or any archbishop is well within the power of the old interpretation of CCC 766-767 to put the clamp on the non-ordained preaching. Too bad Flynn takes it so personally:
There has to be that kind of training and theological background that even a person with a master’s degree in theology would not have. The church does not want people just standing up there and giving opinions or even things they’ve read in books.
Hopefully some presbyters are getting the message, too. A show of hands, please, on all the regurgitated internet or preaching service homilies we’ve heard from the clergy …
To preach the Gospel is an extremely important part of the mission of any priest — I cannot overemphasize its importance. I would feel deprived, because this is my vocation to preach the Gospel.
Archbishop Flynn has a curiously individualistic take on this. I wonder what happens when priests who feel this way end up in a concelebration. I suppose when you’re the bishop you pretty much get to call the shots.
And if I were celebrating Mass, and it came time for me to preach — which should be the fruit of my prayer, my experience and the experience of those who (are) in (the) congregation — it would be disruptive to me to have someone else come and break open the word of God.
So much for the liturgical role of the diaconate in Minneapolis-St Paul.
I realize I’m being a bit unfair to the archbishop. While I have no doubt he is a devoted man of God and probably a decent priest and bishop, the public reasoning given on the end of lay preaching seems pretty milquetoast. It would be enough to say Redemptionis Sacramentum forbids it, that he agrees with that ruling, and with the new bishop hitting town it’s a good time to clean up lay preaching. End of story. Or maybe the yammering about personal deprivation and disruption is just some good old fashioned Catholic Guilt coming to the fore.
If so, good. That means the man’s human.