Page 1, 2nd August 1957

2nd August 1957
Page 1
Page 1, 2nd August 1957 — EVERYBODY HAS A VOCATION
Close

Report an error

Noticed an error on this page?
If you've noticed an error in this article please click here to report it.

Tags

Locations: Seckau Abbey

Share


Related articles

The Opportunity Of That Sunday 'peak'

Page 7 from 7th December 1956

Centenary Sermons At Westminster

Page 7 from 26th May 1950

Vocation Drive In London

Page 3 from 24th April 1964

New Papal Society

Page 8 from 3rd June 1955

Industrial Sunday: October 20

Page 7 from 18th October 1957

EVERYBODY HAS A VOCATION

Lay people are not `associate members'

"Catholic Herald" Reporter

IN a sermon at Westminster Cathedral on Sunday evening. -aFr. Gordon Albion attacked the false view of the Church as a " clerical closed shop" in which the laity are allowed to participate as " associate members."

He recalled that the Holy Father recently told laymen that they are not only members of the Church, they are the Church.

Fr. Albion was preaching on " Harmony and Co-operation Between Members of the Mystical Body of Christ," the last in a series of four sermons on the general theme: " Vocation and I.ife."

Ther,,, have been periods of history when the clergy behaved as though the Church was " a benevolent dictatorship from the pulpit," he told the congregation. But in fairness to the clergy, it must he said that this was usually the fault of the laity. He referred especially to the interference by secular princes in matters of Church government in the Middle Ages.

" There is no distinction as to what constitutes membership of the Mystical Body." said Fr. Albion. " We are all called to equal membership."

Hence, it is quite wrong to speak of the layman, simply because he has not been called to serve God in the special way of the priesthood or the religious life, as " having no vocation." Everyone has a vocation.

FUNCTION

"The difference is not one of vocation, but of function in fulfiling that vocation," he continued. Under the authority of the Bishops —the successors of the Apostles and apart from the specific functions of the priesthood. lies the whole field of the lay apostolate. In missionary count' ies lay catechists teach the Faith; in England C.E.G. speakers, licenced by the Bishop, proclaim it from the public platform. In exceptional circumstances, laymen are permitted to distribute Holy Communion.

FR. ALBION ADDED THAT HE COULD SEE NO REASON WHY THIS PRIVILEGE, IN ENGLAND AS WELL AS IN MISSIONARY LANDS,

SHOULD NOT BE ACCORDED MUCH MORE FREQUENTLY TO THE LAITY.

Although many Chinese Catholics are today deprived of their Bishops and priests, the Church in China continues and even increases: layfolk baptise their own children, marry validly and receive converts.

We have made the terms " ecclesiastic " and " lay " too narrow, said Fr. Albion. The Greek word ekklesia means " assembly of the people." Therefore the layman, too, is an ecclesiastic, and the priest—since he is one of the people (laos)—is an ordained layman.

ARCIIABBOT

Abbot Reetz of Seckau Abbey, Austria, has been elected Archabbot of the 1,200-year-old Beuron Abbey, Germany. He succeeds Archabbot Baur, who retired recently.




blog comments powered by Disqus