The exercise of its respective functions is properly that of the Bishop of each particular Church since he is the moderator of the entire ministry of the Word in his Diocese (61)
2. The non-ordained faithful, according to their proper character, participate in the prophetic function of Christ, are constituted as his witnesses and afforded the "sensus fidei" and the grace of the Word. All are called to grow even more as "heralds of faith in things to be hoped for (cf. Hebrews 11, 1).(64)
Therefore, the faithful, especially members of Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life can be invited to collaborate, in lawful ways, in the exercise of the ministry of the Word.(65)
3. To ensure the effectiveness of the collaboration mentioned in paragraph 2 above, it is necessary to note some conditions relating to the operation of this same collaboration.
Canon 766 of the Codex Iuris Canonici establishes the conditions under which competent authority may admit the non-ordained faithful to preach in ecclesia vel oratorio. The use of the expression admitti possunt makes clear that in no instance is this a right such as that which is specific and proper to the Bishop (66)
The terms in which these conditions are expressed - "If in certain circumstances it is necessary..., ...if in particular cases it would be useful..." in canon 766, make clear the exceptional nature of such cases as well as the fact that such must always be done iuxta Episcoporum conferentiae praescripta. In this final clause, this Canon establishes the primary source for correct discernment with regard to necessity or useful in specific cases. The prescriptions of the Conference of Bishops in this matter, which must receive the "recognitio" of the Apostolic See, are obliged to lay down those opportune criteria which may assist the diocesan Bishop in making appropriate pastoral decisions, proper to the nature of the same episcopal office.
4. In some areas, circumstances can arise in which a shortage of sacred ministers and permanent, objectively verifiable, situations of need or advantage exist that would recommend the admission of the non-ordained faithful to preaching.
Preaching in churches or oratories by the non-ordained faithful can be permitted only as a supply for sacred ministers or for those particular reasons foreseen by the universal law of the Church or by Conferences of Bishops. It cannot, however, be regarded as an ordinary occurrence nor as an authentic promotion of the laity.
5. Above all in the preparation for the sacraments, catechists take care to instruct those being catechized on the role and figure of the priest as the sole dispenser of the mysteries for which they are preparing.
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