Ministeria Quaedam 9: Norms 1 through 3

I continue to see commentary, especially on conservative websites, about popes going rogue on reforms, about cabals and conspiracies and such. Not. Wide consultation is really the way. Those discussions might be focused more on ideological confreres, but we should take Paul VI at his word:

After weighing every aspect of the question, seeking the opinion of experts, consulting with the conferences of bishops and taking their views into account, and after taking counsel with our esteemed brothers who are members of the congregations competent in this matter, by our apostolic authority we enact the following norms, amending-if and in so far as is necessary-provisions of the Codex Iuris Canonici now in force, and we promulgate them through this Motu Proprio.

Over the next few days, we’ll look at thirteen norms instituted in 1972. Starting here:

1. First tonsure is no longer conferred; entrance into the clerical state is joined to the diaconate.

This states it with clarity: deacons are clergy. People in minor orders are not.

2. What up to now were called minor orders are henceforth to be called ministries.

3. Ministries may be assigned to lay Christians; hence they are no longer to be considered as reserved to candidates for the sacrament of orders.

And if it’s not clergy, we call them ministries, and lay people can serve in these roles. I can imagine that must have been a shock to some in the early 70s.

There is no English translation of this document, but I did find an English rendering here on the Adoremus site.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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