Congregation for Clergy, Letter Clarifying that Seminarians are Not Permitted to Preach the Homily During Mass, 2000.
The following letter was received from the Congregation for the Clergy as a clarification concerning an entry which appeared in Roman Replies and CLSA Advisory Opinions 1999 (p. 9) from the Congregation for Catholic Education regarding whether seminarians can be permitted to preach the homily during Mass. This letter reiterates that only the ordained are permitted to preach the homily during Mass and this permission cannot be extended to those who are not ordained. What follows is the letter in English from His Eminence Dario Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy.
CONGREGATION FOR THE CLERGYDear __________,
This Congregation has received your letter of 18 June 2000, in which you requested clarification regarding the possibility of seminarians preaching the homily at Mass, as had been indicated by a response of the Congregation for Catholic Education and reprinted in Roman Replies and CLSA Advisory Opinions 1999.
As you know, seminarians and their formation are the competence of the Congregation for Catholic Education, while the homily falls under the competence of the Congregation for Clergy.
With regard to this issue, in accord with the Congregation for Catholic Education, please allow me to inform you that it is impossible to grant any such permission which would allow the non-ordained Faithful – even though seminarians are not yet ordained as Deacons – to preach the homily during Mass.
The permission granted by the Congregation for Catholic Education was not intended as a derogation, because the Instruction, Ecclesia de mysterio, did not create any new norm but merely reiterated that which was already provided for in the Code of Canon Law, explicitly abrogating that which might have been granted beforehand in any way whatsoever. Over and above this, the Holy Father approved the aforementioned document in forma specifica, with all the legal consequences of this action.
This Dicastery is grateful for the opportunity to clarify the matter involved and for your willingness to publish it so the bonds of ecclesiastical communion may be even more strengthened. We look forward to a continuation of such fruitful collaboration.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Dario Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos
RRAO (2000): 25-26.