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Vatican encourages laicized priests' involvement in parish life

September 30, 2011

The Vatican has given diocesan bishops greater latitude for allowing former priests to become actively involved in parish life, the Catholic Herald reports.

Cardinal Ivan Dias, the prefect of the Congregation for Evangelization, has written that he hopes new rules will allow laicized priests to be come active in the life of local churches. The new rules would reportedly allow bishops to approve the pastoral activity of a laicized priest, whereas previously the Vatican was required to give permission for any such activity.

The Catholic Herald story does not make it clear whether the policies cited by Cardinal Dias apply only to mission territories under the jurisdiction of the Congregation for Evangelization or to the entire Church.

Under current Church law, a priest who has been laicized cannot preach, administer the Eucharist, or teach in a seminary.


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  • Posted by: damian.riggs8445 - Oct. 02, 2011 9:04 PM ET USA

    Brothers and sisters, have we forgotten one of the most basic tenants of our faith in the Lord our God? FORGIVENESS. Additionally, what about the laicized who left the priesthood for other reasons and now as parishioners live in full communion (in good standing) with the Church. Let us not jump to conclusions and stop being so judgmental.

  • Posted by: wolfdavef3415 - Oct. 01, 2011 10:06 PM ET USA

    What, dare I ask, about laicized predators? Special rules? Also, is this really a good idea in any circumstance? The phrase "wolf in sheep's clothing" is particularly relevant given the metaphor of the shepherd and the flock.

  • Posted by: GUY F. - Sep. 30, 2011 6:22 PM ET USA

    Playing with a fire that can burn the people here in the USA.

  • Posted by: Exaudi nos - Sep. 30, 2011 5:45 PM ET USA

    Is this the same as saying, "Let's have more divorcees working for the Church?

  • Posted by: Mike in Toronto - Sep. 30, 2011 5:33 PM ET USA

    Bad move.

  • Posted by: tonydecker513018861 - Sep. 30, 2011 3:55 PM ET USA