THE VICAR OF CHRIST SPEAKS
on the role of the Laity

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

Twentieth installment: PRACTICAL PROVISIONS - Article 11
The Minister of Baptism

Particularly praiseworthy is the faith with which many Christians, in painful circumstances of persecution, or in missionary territories or in special cases of necessity, have afforded and continue to afford the Sacrament of Baptism to new generations of Christians in the absence of ordained ministers.

Apart from cases of necessity, canonical norms permit the non ordained faithful to be designated as extraordinary ministers of Baptism (109) should there be no ordinary minister or in cases where he is impeded. (110) Care should be taken however to avoid too extensive an interpretation of this provision and such a faculty should not be conceded in an habitual form.

Thus, for example, that absence or the impediment of a sacred minister which renders licit the deputation of the lay faithful to act as an extraordinary minister of Baptism, cannot be defined in terms of the ordinary minister's excessive workload, or his non-residence in the territory of the parish, nor his non-availability on the day on which the parents wish the Baptism to take place. Such reasons are insufficient for the delegation of the non ordained faithful to act as extraordinary ministers of Baptism.

NEXT ISSUE: PRACTICAL PROVISIONS - Article 12 Leading the Celebration at Funerals


DAILY CATHOLIC      Vicar of Christ Speaks     volume 8, no. 55


December 1997