John Lilburne's journal about instituted lectors not reading and Msgr. Peter Elliott

 

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1629 K Sun 21 Oct 2001

The seminarians were at the Cathedral this morning. Most of them are instituted lectors. They did the job of altar server, but did not read, a woman doing both the readings. I believe that my right to have the liturgical books followed (according to Canon 846) was breached. According to the 1981 Lectionary for Mass, n. 51, "Where there are instituted readers available, they are to carry out their office at least on Sundays and major feasts, especially at the principal Mass of the day."

Alongside Archbishop Hart was Monsignor Peter Elliott. On the back of his book Liturgical Question Box, there is a description of him:

Msgr. Peter Elliott has worked in the Vatican for over ten years. His area of expertise is the liturgical life of the Church. He is now the Episcopal Vicar of Religious Education in Melbourne, Australia. He is the author of the best-selling Ceremonies of the Modern Roman Rite.

He is someone of I learnt a lot from. Maybe he is unaware of liturgical laws on instituted lectors.

On the other side of Archbishop Hart was Father Michael McKenna. He is rector of the seminary and I discussed the liturgical laws on lectors with him when I was there.

Then there are the seminarians, who have been instituted as lectors, and so should be aware of the liturgical responsibilities of their office.

Last night I was watching two movies: A Few Good Men and Breaker Morant. Both of them were dealing with issues of following orders, being part of the team, when the orders are wrong. Its similiar to the issue in the book Crimes of Obedience I read about a month ago. Another book about this problem is The Courageous Follower, by Ira Chaleff (1995). Here is a quote:

Followers who provide robust support for leaders are in a strong position to challenge them when their actions threaten the common purpose. Of the two broad areas in which we must be willing to challenge a leader -- behaviour and policies -- the most difficult is behaviour. It truly requires courage. (page 79).

It is possible that Monsignor Elliott, Father McKenna, and the seminarians are taking this courageous approach. But I have no evidence of that.

Today the Gospel reading was from Luke 18:1-8. It includes a parable from Jesus:

There was a judge in a certain town ... who had neither fear of God nor respect for man. In the same town there was a widow who kept on coming to him and saying, "I want just from you against my enemy!" For a long time he refused, but at last he said to himself, "Maybe I have neither fear of God nor respect for man, but since she keeps pestering me I must give this widow her just rights, or she will persist in coming and worry me to death."

Copyright J.R. Lilburne, 21 October 2001.