GICI 11: Ordinary Ministers


A general reminder to those in holy orders, including some aspects recently in the news:

11. The ordinary ministers of baptism are bishops, priests, and deacons.

1. In every celebration of this sacrament they should be mindful that they act in the Church in the name of Christ and by the power of the Holy Spirit.

2. They should therefore be diligent in the ministry of the word of God and in the manner of celebrating the sacrament. They must avoid any action that the faithful could rightly regard as favoritism. (Sacrosanctum Concilium 32, Gaudium et Spes 29) 

3. Except in a case of necessity, these ministers are not to confer baptism outside their own territory, even on their own subjects, without the requisite permission. 


11.2 has gotten a lot of attention, in that some ministers have “adapted” the naming of the Trinity to something other than “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” While this is important, note the Church’s emphasis here also on the word of God. Clergy are called to be “diligent” in the ministry of the Word. It would seem this means something more than ensuring a reading is not omitted. Such diligence might suggest an effort be made to proclaim the Word well or have a competent lay lector do so. Psalmody and/or a gospel acclamation might be included in this diligence.

The reference to the two Vatican II documents treats the issue of favoritism, something the Council was very clear about wanting to eradicate.

11.3 has also drawn some attention in the past week, namely the notion of celebrating sacraments in a diocese not one’s own involves the cooperation of the local ordinary by the niceties of invitation, seeking and granting permission, or in general communicating one’s intentions.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in post-conciliar liturgy documents, RCIA, Rites. Bookmark the permalink.

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