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Bishops can enable dispensed priests: Dias

The Vatican has urged local bishops to let dispensed priests play a more active parish role, reports The Catholic Herald.
Bishops can enable dispensed priests: Dias
Screenshot from The Catholic Herald

International
September 30, 2011
The Vatican has appealed to diocesan bishops to encourage priests who have left ministry in order to get married to play a more active role in parish life, The Catholic Herald reports. In a copy of a letter seen by the newspaper, Cardinal Ivan Dias, the prefect for the Evangelization of Peoples in Rome, placed more discretionary power in the hands of bishops for discerning a dispensed cleric’s involvement with parish life. The letter, dated February 2 2011, was sent to a priest, who had written to the congregation on behalf of an Australian missionary society that is seeking a relaxation of the prohibitions on dispensed clergy. Cardinal Dias wrote of his confidence that the Vatican’s reforms would enable dispensed priests to lead a more active life in the Church as committed Catholics under their bishop’s guidance. The usual mode of laicization and dispensation from the priestly vow of celibacy is through a “rescript of the Apostolic See”, meaning a response from the Pope or a sacred congregation granting a favour and the conditions upon which it is granted. The rescript permitting the laicization of a priest prohibits celebrating Mass, delivering homilies, administering the Eucharist, teaching or working in seminaries and places restrictions on teaching the faith in schools and universities. The cardinal’s letter means that the enforcement of half the prohibitions stipulated in the rescript will now come under the discretion of the local bishop. FULL STORY Let dispensed priests play active parish role, Vatican urges bishops (The Catholic Herald)
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