Desiderio Desideravi 55-56: Some Broad Considerations

Let’s take two today. Paragraphs, that is.

55. There would be much more to say about the importance of presiding and what care it requires. On different occasions I dwelt on the demanding duty of preaching the homily. [See Evangelii Gaudium 135-144.] Here I limit myself to several other broad considerations, always wanting to reflect with you on how we are formed by the Liturgy. I think about the regular rhythm of Sunday Mass in our communities, and I address myself therefore to priests, but implicitly to all ordained ministers.

56. The priest lives his characteristic participation in the celebration in virtue of the gift received in the sacrament of Holy Orders, and this is expressed precisely in presiding. Like all the roles he is called to carry out, this is not primarily a duty assigned to him by the community but is rather a consequence of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit received in ordination which equips him for such a task. The priest also is formed by his presiding in the celebrating assembly

I’ve long noted parishes take pride in the people they raise up to the priesthood. Pope Francis bypasses the notion also that clergy are created by bishops for a diocese. The description in #56 is not an accident: a consequence of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. This doesn’t preclude an institutional “ordering” by a bishop for faith communities. The gift of liturgical presidency also must include an openness to being “formed” by the assembly at prayer.

The full document, copyright © Dicastero per la Comunicazione – Libreria Editrice Vaticana is here on the Vatican site.

About catholicsensibility

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