Thursday, May 08, 2014

Simplex priests

Priests that can do some sacramental things, but not preach or hear confessions. An interesting historical footnote, once common, and could be useful in the current day.
One day the bishop requests a meeting with him. “Mike, I have known you for many years. We were in high school together. Despite dark days you have been faithful in every way. Christ has always been the center of your personal life and your family life. Now we need a priest at the cathedral. Monsignor is too overburdened, and I am afraid he just has too much to do already and the situation is worsening. Would you be willing to be ordained to the priesthood? You would be responsible for celebrating a quiet daily Mass at the cathedral and for anointing the sick at two local hospitals. Effectively, you would put in three hours each day to help with our sacramental needs. You would not have to go to a seminary. You would not have to preach, and you would not hear confessions. Simplex priests go to the clergy meetings, but that is all. You would be required to make an annual retreat and to serve under the strict supervision of Monsignor who is the rector of the cathedral. I will suggest a few books for you, but probably you have already read them before I even think of what might be suggested.”

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