on the role of the Laity

INSTRUCTION on Certain Questions regarding the Collaboration of the Non-ordained Faithful in the Sacred Ministry of Priest

Nineteenth installment: PRACTICAL PROVISIONS - Article 10
Assistance at Marriages

1. The possibility of delegating the non-ordained faithful to assist at marriages may prove necessary in special circumstances where there is a grave shortage of sacred ministers.

This possibility, however, is subject to the verification of three conditions. The diocesan Bishop, may concede this delegation only in cases where there are no priests or deacons available and after he shall have obtained for his own diocese a favourable votum from the Conference of Bishops and the necessary permission of the Holy See. (106)

2. In such cases, the canonical norms concerning the validity of delegation, (107) the suitability, capacity and attitude of the non-ordained faithful must be observed. (108)

3. With the exception of an extraordinary case due to the absolute absence of both Priests and Deacons who can assist at marriages provided for in Canon 1112 of the Code of Canon Law, no ordained minister may authorize the non-ordained faithful for such assistance. Neither may an ordained minister authorize the non-ordained faithful to ask or receive matrimonial consent according to the norm of Canon 1108

NEXT ISSUE: PRACTICAL PROVISIONS - Article 11 The Minister of Baptism

DAILY CATHOLIC      Vicar of Christ Speaks     volume 8, no. 54

December 1997