Monday, January 29, 2018

My Experience with Canon 767 Which Prohibits Homilies by Lay Catholics, Olga Lucia Alvarez Benjumea ARCWP

It happened between the years 85-90, in the hamlet of La Rastra-Caquetá- in the South of Colombia, in the Week of Easter. Presides the Diocese of Monsignor José Luis Serna, bishop of pleasant memory, missionary of La Consolata. It corresponded to the parish priest of Puerto Milan, Father Felix, (I do not remember his last name) Italian, missionary of La Consolata, attending several missions, which were not few, from side to side on the Caquetá river.
I had traveled by bus from Bogota to Florence, with one of the missionaries of Mother Laura, taking advantage of Holy Week, to give a training to a group of peasants in the region. We met at the kiosk of the village. They were tense moments, since outside the kiosk, they were watching us, and circling, members of the group, raised in arms, who were in the area.
On Easter Sunday, Fr. Felix arrived at the Mission house, where the boarding school attended by the Missionaries of Mother Laura, hoarse, exhausted, and before the Mass said: "I need you to help me in the Mass. ", I replied:" With pleasure Father. " The chapel was full of peasants, the children of the mission and the missionaries, I thought, it would only be the readings of the day, when I finished I wanted to return to the pews, when he says: "do not go, stay there". He did the reading of the Gospel, he took me by the arm and indicated the ambo, he said: "Please, do your homily." The seconds were brief, so that it will take a breath and begin in an improvised way, the homily on the Day of Resurrection, the message delivered to the women and therefore our responsibility as such. It was the first time I saw myself in such a situation. There were the nuns, why is it my turn? Fortunately, I had already done my meditation on the text of the Gospel. I am aware, that I did not speak:
"Now therefore, behold, I will be in your mouth, and I will teach you what you shall speak." Exodus 4:12.
That's how it went. Father, I had to keep announcing the Good News, in the state I was in, down the river until the mission of Mama Bwe ...
Sure, the Father, knew that we were breaking the canon 767, at this time I, no idea. What does the Canon 767 say? : "Among the  forms  of  preaching highlights the  homily , which  is  part  of the same  liturgy  and  is  reserved for  the  priest  or  deacon ; to  throughout  the  year  liturgical , expose yourself in it,starting from  the  sacred text , the  mysteries  of the  faith  and the  norms  of  Christian life  " .
In spite of the norms and institutional canons, before a crisis, before a current problem, as it is the situation that we live in the Church, when a law does not fulfill its mission, it is necessary to ignore it, change it and break it.
In Mass or outside it, we have many testimonies of women like Saint Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) Saint Catherine of Siena, Siena (1347-1380), Saint Teresa of Jesus, 1515 - 1582). More all the religious missionaries, and secular, invisible that are in the missionary territories and popular neighborhoods accompanying the people, that we see more and more, in the offspring of a Spring Church, in the Base Ecclesial Communities, celebrating what is known as "Para-liturgies" because there is no consecration, because of the absence of the clergy, who does not arrive there.
I leave to the reader the opportunity to continue investigating, reflecting and as a lay person to continue defending and doing Church.

* Roman Catholic Presbyter.

1) Personal experience without editing.

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