Pope installs men and women as new lay ministers

This year’s celebration of the liturgy Sunday of the Word of God (23 January in St Peter’s Basilica included some very special moments, when Pope Francis formally installed lay men and women from various parts of the world in the ministries of Lector and Catechist, using recently prepared rites for this purpose.
In most countries, women and men have long served as lectors and catechists and even have been commissioned for those roles. But those now formally installed in the ministries are recognised as having a specific vocation to leadership in their communities and will serve in what the church defines as a “stable” manner.
A statement from the Pontifical Council for Evangelisation (PCNE) explains that the “well-established practice in the Church has confirmed that lay ministries, founded on the sacrament of Baptism, can be entrusted to all the faithful who are suitable, whether male or female”
The formal revival of these lay Ministries, which can now be conferred by Bishops everywhere, is widely regarded as part of recent moves by the Pope to implement greater lay co-responsibility into the ecclesial forms and structures of the Church.

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