The Teaching Function of the Church
» The Ministry of the Divine Word
» The preaching of the word of God
Sacred ministers, among whose principal duties is the proclamation of the gospel of God to all, are to hold the function of preaching in esteem since the people of God are first brought together by the word of the living God, which it is certainly right to require from the mouth of priests.
Bishops have the right to preach the word of God everywhere, including in churches and oratories of religious institutes of pontifical right, unless the local bishop has expressly forbidden it in particular cases.
Without prejudice to the prescript of can. 765,
presbyters and deacons possess the faculty of preaching everywhere; this faculty is to be exercised with at least the presumed consent of the rector of the church, unless the competent ordinary has restricted or taken away the faculty or particular law requires express permission.
Preaching to religious in their churches or oratories requires the permission of the superior competent according to the norm of the constitutions.
Lay persons can be permitted to preach in a church or oratory, if necessity requires it in certain circumstances or it seems advantageous in particular cases, according to the prescripts of the conference of bishops and without prejudice to can. 767,
§1. Among the forms of preaching, the homily, which is part of the liturgy itself and is reserved to a priest or deacon, is preeminent; in the homily the mysteries of faith and the norms of Christian life are to be explained from the sacred text during the course of the liturgical year.
§2. A homily must be given at all Masses on Sundays and holy days of obligation which are celebrated with a congregation, and it cannot be omitted except for a grave cause.
§3. It is strongly recommended that if there is a sufficient congregation, a homily is to be given even at Masses celebrated during the week, especially during the time of Advent and Lent or on the occasion of some feast day or a sorrowful event.
§4. It is for the pastor or rector of a church to take care that these prescripts are observed conscientiously.
§1. Those who proclaim the divine word are to propose first of all to the Christian faithful those things which one must believe and do for the glory of God and the salvation of humanity.
§2. They are also to impart to the faithful the doctrine which the magisterium of the Church sets forth concerning the dignity and freedom of the human person, the unity and stability of the family and its duties, the obligations which people have from being joined together in society, and the ordering of temporal affairs according to the plan established by God.
Christian doctrine is to be set forth in a way accommodated to the condition of the listeners and in a manner adapted to the needs of the times.
At certain times according to the prescripts of the diocesan bishop, pastors are to arrange for those types of preaching which are called spiritual exercises and sacred missions or for other forms of preaching adapted to needs.
§1. Pastors of souls, especially bishops and pastors, are to be concerned that the word of God is also proclaimed to those of the faithful who because of the condition of their life do not have sufficient common and ordinary pastoral care or lack it completely.
§2. They are also to make provision that the message of the gospel reaches non-believers living in the territory since the care of souls must also extend to them no less than to the faithful.
§1. In the exercise of preaching, moreover, all are to observe the norms issued by the diocesan bishop.
§2. In giving a radio or television talk on Christian doctrine, the prescripts established by the conference of bishops are to be observed.
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