Tuesday 21 August 2012

Regrettably, No Comment

The church prepared for a Requiem Mass in my own parish.
I was somewhat surprised this morning to receive a phone call from  The Tablet journalist, Christopher Lamb asking me if I would like to comment on - according to his information - the fact that my Archdiocese of Liverpool is to commission 22 lay people to preside at funeral services.

I don't know if this is so or not.  We did have a leaflet through to all the parishes recently entitled "Planning a Christian Funeral" that mentions that a funeral may be led by a "Lay Funeral Minister" (you can read it here at the Archdiocesan website - scroll down to the 5th heading.)  I have heard that such things do already happen in the Archdiocese where, apparently, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion lead the Service!  I presume this is because of the shortage of sacred ministers in the diocese - 146 active and 74 retired (excluding Religious) and 106 Permanent Deacons.

However, you will not be reading my interview in The Tablet, as I felt I had to tell him that, regrettably,  I had "No Comment" to make.


1569 Rising said...


This is incredible. I cannot believe that there are so many funerals (presumably on the same day?) that none of the priests, either active or retired, or any Deacons could not be found to conduct a funeral.

This is absolutely the most disgraceful situation I have ever heard of.

Fr said...

Sadly there are priests, enabled by their bishops, who would happily sit on their rumps and allow Bella Premunt and Jenny Tory to provide a "Celebration of Life", as requested by Mrs O'Reilly's lapsed offspring, at the priestless St Jemima's up the road.
"This is the way forward" we are being told constantly by our way-ahead Ordinary and his lay advisors on how to run a parish - something he may have vague recollections of, or have heard about.
Over my dead body!

Sixupman said...

Father, have the lunatics taken over the Chancery?

Unknown said...

Open up the junior seminaries and actively encourage boys to enter! and police them rigorously and do it now! Before we sleep walk into this nightmare

Introibo said...

Oh heck does this mean that I have to change the instructions in my will for a sung requiem in the E.F with all the verses of Faith of Our Fathers as a recessional ringing in my ears as I hopefully wend my way to Purgatory. To: a Methodist style dispatch complete with lay preacher who will send me off accompanied by the words of Wesley to take my place in Heaven.

GOR said...

744744Unfortunately this is something I have heard put forward before – on both sides of The Pond and Down Under. Some bishops, abdicating their responsibility to foster vocations and build up the Church, are seemingly quite content to push more and more ‘ministerial duties’ on to the laity.

We have priest-less parishes being ‘led’ by laypeople, where a visiting priest may occasionally appear to celebrate Mass and are seen as mere ‘sacramental machines’ to be called in much like a doctor or plumber as the ‘rare’ need arises.

I don’t know what these bishops are thinking, but it certainly is not the image of the Church as Our Lord intended it. Perhaps they should all just retire and leave the work to the true shepherds.

And to Sixupman: Yes – in too many cases!

Ben Trovato said...

Belatedly, this story is causing a stir: see the Herald piece, and various bloggers' comments, linked from :http://ccfather.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/what-is-it-about-liverpool.html