Instituted lectors do not require mandatory celibacy, but do not seem to be much of the discussion of mandatory celibacy for Roman Catholic clergy.


About John Lilburne


Instituted Lectors


1017 K Sat 11 May 2002

I think instituted lectors are an ignored part of the discussions about celibacy for priests in the Roman Catholic Church. I have been reading Archbishop Pell's Mandatory Celibacy, (which I found out about from Part of it is:

... I vividly recall a very senior Dutch prelate recounting to me how he phoned a parish to offer to say Mass there at the weekend when the parish priest was to be absent. He was told by the lay leader that his visit was not necessary as they would be having a lay-led communion service. ...

Archbishop Pell would not allow the ministry of the priest to be sidetracked in this way. But what about the ministry of an instituted lector, to do the first reading? Despite my Tribunal case there does not seem to be much concern about other lay people doing this when an instituted lector is available.

Archbishop Pell also wrote:

... In probably all the English-speaking countries there is strong support for a married clergy among both the laity and many of the clergy themselves. ...

If there really is this strong support, why is there so little support for "married ministers" (i.e. "married instituted lectors"?

I guess most people are unaware of instituted lectors. But more people should be promoting the ministry of instituted lector, which does not have mandatory celibacy.

Following on from my last journal entry, I found another reference by the Pope to instituted ministers in Novo Millennio Ineunte, n. 46:

... Together with the ordained ministry, other ministries, whether formally instituted or simply recognized, can flourish for the good of the whole community, sustaining it in all its many needs: from catechesis to liturgy, from the education of the young to the widest array of charitable works. ...

It does not mention lectors, but at least it is something about instituted ministers.

Copyright J.R. Lilburne, 11 May 2002.

Other sites:

Mandatory Celibacy by Archbishop Pell