15 August 2002. The 30th anniversary of the ministry of instituted lector.


About John Lilburne


Ministeria quaedam


30th Anniversary

Today is the 30th anniversary of the reform of lectors and acolytes in the Roman Rite. Pope Paul VI's Motu Proprio document Ministeria Quaedam is dated 15 August 1972.

Some particularly important parts of it are:

... 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.

4. Two ministries, adapted to present-day needs, are to be preserved in the whole Latin Church, namely, those of reader and acolyte. ...

7. In accordance with the ancient tradition of the Church, institution to the ministries of reader and acolyte is reserved to men. ...

Last night I went to the Melbourne Town Hall for a meeting about legislation on stem cell research. There were several speakers, including Archbishop Hart and Kevin Andrews.

Afterwards I was waiting at the train station to return when I was approached by Harry. I know him from the cathedral where he often does the readings and the collection. He had also been to the meeting and we spoke on the train for about 45 minutes.

I raised this anniversary, doubting that he would know what I was talking about. But he had a good understanding of instituted ministers. I don't remember his exact words, but they were along the lines of: he did the readings because he was asked to, but the seminarians were instituted as lectors and so they should do it. Of course I agreed with him. I went on to say that I had been instituted as a lector in February 2000 and had been making this point with letters, a tribunal case and web site.

How long will it be until instituted readers are allowed to read?

Posted by J.R. Lilburne 15 August 2002. I give what I have written on this page to the public domain.