Pope to Institute Women in the Ministries of Lector and Acolyte

Next Sunday, January 26, Sunday of the ‘Word of God’, Pope Francis will personally institute the ministry of lector, acolyte, and catechist for men and women

Newsroom (19/01/2022 09:15, Gaudium Press) It is the first time in history that women will be admitted universally as lectors and acolytes. Since 1972, local bishops have had the authority to allow both sexes to serve as lectors and extraordinary ministers of communion, these texts set a universal standard. The communiqué was transmitted by the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization on January 18.

This is made possible by two recently published documents. The documents are: the apostolic letter in the form of motu proprio Spiritus Domini (from January 10, 2021) and a letter addressed to the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

A greater Participation of the Laity

The texts emphasize the importance of the mission of the laity within the Church and open the way for stable and institutionalized participation of baptized men and women in the ministries of acolyte and lector.

The ministries of lector and acolyte, formerly called “minor orders,” were reserved only for men who were in preparation for the priesthood prior to 1972.

The Ministry of the Catechist

The Motu Proprio Spiritus Domini also provides for the ministry of the catechist. For the ceremony of this new ministry, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has prepared a new liturgy.

While the readers will receive a copy of the Sacred Scriptures, the catechists will receive a cross, a reproduction of St. Paul VI’s pastoral cross, “to recall the missionary character of the service they will administer,” explains the official statement.

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Representing the universality of the Church, the participants come from various countries such as South Korea, Pakistan, Ghana, Peru, Brazil, Poland and Spain.

The ceremony will take place at 9:30 am (local time) and will be broadcast on vaticannews.va, Youtube and social networks associated with the Vatican. (FM)

With information from Vatican News.

Compiled by Camille Mittermeier

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