Little hope for change

by Noel S. McFerran

In his article on the recent statement by the Holy See on the collaboration of the non-ordained faithful in the sacred ministry of priests and its impact upon the use of extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist, Jeff Ziegler quotes the popular aphorism, “Roma locuta est, causa finita est.” This saying is based upon a passage from one of the sermons of Saint Augustine, “Causa finita est: utinam aliquando finiatur error” (The cause is finished; would that the error were as speedily finished).

Judging by the response to the Holy See’s document by many American pastors and even bishops, I think it would be foolish to expect any widespread change in current practice. John L. Allen, Jr., writing in the January 9, 1998 issue of the National Catholic Reporter, said “regardless of what Rome may decree, lay ministry is here to stay.”

Clarification of the Church’s law (on this or any matter) is not effective when so many individuals in positions of responsibility within the Church are not receptive to the authentic teaching of the Holy See.

Noel S. McFerran, Information Services Librarian, John Paul II Library