Whenever someone sends me a copy of the drivel over on "the other blog", I hesitate to do anything with it. It is not just that their postings are a general assault on intelligence, the authors of the "other blog" are faustian in their ambition to remake the church in their own image and to even entertain them makes me sick.
It is not just that the authors at "the other blog" are uninformed. Quite the opposite. They are very informed - and informed by the sort of twisted logistical machinations of Screwtape who instructs Wormwood on how to seduce his "patient" into hell:
"Jargon, not argument, is your best ally in keeping him from the Church", advises Screwtape to Wormwood. And one has only to listen to the long ramblings of a Kiko, a Pius, or a Diana to know how thoroughly they subscribe to this diabolic advice.
However, as nauseating as these people are, they allow us an opportunity to discover what the Church really teaches, and teaches clearly. So let us examine the following from "Diana", the official spokesperson for the Neocatechumenal Way on Guam:
"The NCW has been telling them that they have the permission of the Archbishop."
This is true, Diana. And thank you for putting this in writing so we can send it with our next packet to Rome. We have no doubt that the Archbishop is giving these people permission to "preach during the homily" because we have seen the Archbishop himself invite lay people to the pulpit during the time reserved for the homily to give their testimony to the NCW. The question is though: "Does the Archbishop himself have permission to permit this practice?" The answer is "NO". But we will get to that. Let's go on.
You reference Canon 766. Let me copy it in full here:
Can. 766 Lay persons can be permitted to preach in a church or oratory, if necessity requires it in certain circumstances or it seems advantageous in particular cases, according to the prescripts of the conference of bishops and without prejudice to ⇒ can. 767, §1.
Notice the ⇒ can. 767, §1 at the end of the canon, so let's copy that too:
Can. 767 §1. Among the forms of preaching, the homily, which is part of the liturgy itself and is reserved to a priest or deacon, is preeminent; in the homily the mysteries of faith and the norms of Christian life are to be explained from the sacred text during the course of the liturgical year.
The intelligent among us can easily see that "preaching" permitted to lay persons, while it may occur in a "church or oratory", is preaching which occurs OUTSIDE the Mass. This is made clear in Can. 767 §1 by distinguishing the "homily" from other forms of preaching, noting specifically that the "homily...is part of the liturgy itself and is reserved to a priest or deacon."
You attempt to get around this of course by calling their preaching "testimonies" and not a "homily", but the fact is, in the liturgical books, there is no allowance for a "testimony" during the time reserved for the homily.
You and the NCW are not the first to bastardize canon law in this way, which is why John Paul II ordered the promulgation of the Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum.
Redemptionis Sacramentum (RS) might be likened to "case law" wherein legal principles are derived from the application of law relative to individual cases.
The new Code of Canon Law was promulgated in 1983. Twenty years later, the Vatican had accumulated a list of abuses long enough to prompt John Paul II in his encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia to call upon the Congregation for Divine Worship (CDW), as the USCCB puts it: to develop an instruction explaining the deeper level of liturgical norms in the light of recent abuses of liturgical law throughout the world.
In its preamble, the sacred congregation tells us the reason for the instruction:
"...it is not possible to be silent about the abuses, even quite grave ones, against the nature of the Liturgy and the Sacraments as well as the tradition and the authority of the Church, which in our day not infrequently plague liturgical celebrations in one ecclesial environment or another. In some places the perpetration of liturgical abuses has become almost habitual, a fact which obviously cannot be allowed and must cease."
The eucharistic liturgy of the Neocatechumenal Way is full of abuses and the only explanation given by Archbishop Apuron is that the permission to celebrate the eucharistic liturgy in a way not permitted by the liturgical books is due to a permission that is "somewhere."
Diana, you and the Archbishop are welcome to your abuses. But YOU ARE NOT WELCOME TO ABUSE US. It was to protect us from people like you and the rest of your "clergy gone wild" that John Paul II urged the composition and promulgation of the Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum. The only problem was that he entrusted the implementation of the instruction to the bishops, and our bishop is a persistent and blatant offender of liturgical law.
Diana, because people of your ilk have persistently abused the rest of us with the vile insertion of yourselves into the Sacred Liturgy, the good pope sought to clarify the 1983 code and other previous instructions by clearly stating the following in RS:
[66.] The prohibition of the admission of laypersons to preach within the Mass applies also to seminarians, students of theological disciplines, and those who have assumed the function of those known as “pastoral assistants”; nor is there to be any exception for any other kind of layperson, or group, or community, or association.
And to further clarify that even testimonies were NOT to be permitted, RS further states:
[74.] If the need arises for the gathered faithful to be given instruction or testimony by a layperson in a Church concerning the Christian life, it is altogether preferable that this be done outside Mass. Nevertheless, for serious reasons it is permissible that this type of instruction or testimony be given after the Priest has proclaimed the Prayer after Communion. This should not become a regular practice, however. Furthermore, these instructions and testimony should not be of such a nature that they could be confused with the homily, nor is it permissible to dispense with the homily on their account.
So let's review.
- There is NEVER to be any kind of talk, testimony, or announcement during the time reserved for the homily.
- If there is a need for such a talk, testimony, or announcement, it is to occur OUTSIDE of Mass.
- For SERIOUS REASONS a talk, testimony, or announcement can be given AFTER the Priest has proclaimed the Prayer after Communion.
Given that there is NOT a "serious reason" to listen to people like you tell people like us that you were once "just like" us, Archbishop Apuron, in permitting these gross interruptions, is seriously abusing his office, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the authority of Rome, and the souls entrusted to his care. This is extremely GRAVE.
Lastly, you say that I have "no right to tell the bishop what to do." Read on Diana. From RS:
[183.] In an altogether particular manner, let everyone do all that is in their power to ensure that the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist will be protected from any and every irreverence or distortion and that all abuses be thoroughly corrected. This is a most serious duty incumbent upon each and every one, and all are bound to carry it out without any favouritism.
[184.] Any Catholic, whether Priest or Deacon or lay member of Christ’s faithful, has the right to lodge a complaint regarding a liturgical abuse to the diocesan Bishop or the competent Ordinary equivalent to him in law, or to the Apostolic See on account of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff. It is fitting, however, insofar as possible, that the report or complaint be submitted first to the diocesan Bishop. This is naturally to be done in truth and charity.
So you see, Diana, not just Tim Rohr, but EVERY member of the faithful has the RIGHT and DUTY to "ensure that the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist (that's what we real Catholics call it) will be protected from every irreverence or distortion..."
Having already lodged numerous complaints with the bishop and having received no reply (maybe because the complaint was against the bishop!) I recently submitted my complaints to "the Apostolic See" as instructed. Meanwhile, I also have a duty to inform my fellow Catholics of their right and duty to do the same.
To help others do this I am working on a template letter that can be used to file a complaint to the Apostolic See of every incident of abuse, irreverence and distortion of the Sacred Liturgy.