Saturday, May 14, 2005


So in a southeastern suburb of Milwaukee, a friend encounters a woman preaching a homily at a Catholic Mass. That's a no-no, right?


So a letter gets sent to the Pastor of the parish, who responds with a VERY officious and huffy letter of his own. Seems that our Archbishop Dolan has "extended" the permission this woman has while the 'matter is under study' by various sensitivity-superendowed types in God-knows-where.

Well, maybe the Archbishop did, and maybe he didn't. But we would be surprised if he did. See, even in America, and even here in the Land of Rembert, (three blocks from Oz, left of LaLaLand), it is NOT allowed that anyone but an ordained (Catholic) minister preaches the homily--or what even APPEARS to be the homily. This means either a priest or an ordained deacon.

Yes, indeedy, a layman, or laylady, layboy, or laygirl may preach. But they may NOT preach at the time the homily would normally be delivered (after the Gospel.) No way, no how.

Perhaps Father Sensitive forgot to tell our Archbishop about this 'timing' problem or thought he'd just spray enough foofoodust in the air to confuse all the parties.

Well, he didn't.

To the rear, preacher...march!!

(Belated Thanks to J the Newbie for editing assistance)


Anonymous said...

About every other week one of the deacons delivers the homily at St James in Mequon. No one ever said this is not proper procedure.

Dad29 said...

Ordained deacons are NOT moms.

Ordained deacons have the privilege of delivering the homily at any Mass, any time. No restrictions.

However, women cannot be ordained deacons.

Actually the restriction on "non-ordained" delivering homilies is much tighter than my article describes. The permission is granted only "in extremis"--

In reality, there is no reason whatsoever for any non-ordained to be preaching at any Masses in Milwaukee.

Anonymous said...

Well, there.

Terrence Berres said...

"Seems that our Archbishop Dolan has "extended" the permission this woman has while the 'matter is under study' by various sensitivity-superendowed types in God-knows-where."

Surely that would have been so prominent in the Catholic Herald that we couldn't miss it. Why not email the Archbishop and ask him if Father got that right?

Shana said...

I am a little curious where you have obtained your information about women giving a homily. I do not know the exact rules for a homily or a teaching, but I do know that women are allowed to teach (like I said, I'm not sure the relation between a homily and a teaching), but I do know that they are not allowed to preside over the Eucharist or lead the church. If you could, please enlighten me. I am somewhat new to the liturgical side of things, so I'm still a little unsure of the little nuances in certain areas. Thanks

Dad29 said...

The rules are obtainable at the Adoremus website:

If you scroll to the bottom of the page and click on "search" then enter "Homily" you will get a number of possibles: Here's the one that counts:

In effect, non-ordained lay people may teach, as you say--and they may speak at Mass as a 'teacher.' This includes reflections on the Gospel--but such reflecting can NOT be done at the place where the homily is ordinarily given.

And in any case, such reflections/teachings should be rare. It is not too much to ask that a priest actually compose a homily, or use a homily-service and read the week's selection--same goes for the ordained Deacon.

If you're just now getting into the liturgy stuff, it will be helpful for you to obtain the Document on the Liturgy from VatII, as well as a book called Documents on the Liturgy from Collegeville Press. These will bring you to about 1975.

Other documentation can be obtained through Adoremus (above), and at the Vatican website.

It won't hurt for you to have a cc of the Canon Law, while you're at it.

Anonymous said...

Same old, same old.

Redemptionis Sacramentum--64,66
"The Homily must never be given by a layperson" including seminarians, students, and so-called "pastoral assistants."

"Every bishop, priest, and deacon should ask himself "whether he has respected the rights of the lay members of Christ's faithful' and "should always remember that he is a servant of the Sacred Liturgy"
RS 186
Bishops must correct liturgical abuses RS 24
Pope JP2 ordered that all this was to be followed immediately--March 19th, 2004.

But Milwaukee is still in the 1970s mode and our priests are stubborn and set in their ways.

I would ask to see in writing a letter from the archbishop giving permission for this abuse to occur because that would go against what the Archbishop has said, that this archdiocese will follow Rome and not the whims of Father Feelings.

The archbishop cannot in fact give permission in this case to ignore Church teaching. Correct me if I am wrong.

For a laugh (if you have any sense of humor at all!) go to St Mary's in Hales Corners. Talk about liturgical abuse and confused teaching. We could have a game to see how many liturgical abuses you can spot in one Mass. Poor Jesus!