For your Brick by Brick file.
From the Democrat and Chronicle:
Catholic diocese upends custom on homilies
For the better part of 40 years in churches across the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester, clergy ceded the floor to laypeople for the delivery of the homily — the sermon that follows the reading of the Gospel at Mass.
The practice, which dated to the mid-1970s and was simultaneously derided by the faithful for running afoul of church law and praised for its inclusiveness, has come to an end.
In an extensive interview, Bishop Salvatore Matano said he has been confronting the issue on a case-by-case basis since his installation in January and is now drafting guidelines to clarify that homilies are reserved for ordained priests and deacons, as prescribed by canon law.
“It is not a policy shift as regards to the universal law of the church,” Matano said. “I am trying to help the faithful understand what is the universal law of the church and how important it is that in the celebration of Mass, we do what the church asks of us.”
The reversal is perhaps the starkest example yet of the contrasting stewardship of Matano with his predecessor, Bishop Matthew Clark, under whom the diocese earned a reputation as among the most liberal in the country.
Although laypeople were giving the homily before Clark’s time as bishop, it was during his tenure from 1979 to 2012 that such preaching blossomed into a regular occurrence in multiple churches.
Matano called the ubiquity of the practice “a bit perplexing” and attributed it to a misinterpretation of canon law.
“In the life of the church today, there are many interpretations that people might give to a particular ruling with no malintent present, but that do need clarification,” Matano said.
Many in the church have welcomed the shift as a long-awaited return to doctrine. Indeed, Matano said he began addressing the matter in response to complaints from parishioners.
But it also has been received with disappointment, particularly among women, who made up the majority of lay homilists and viewed the practice as a way to play a more active role in their faith.
Read the rest there.
This is excellent. Fr. Z Kudos to Bp. Matano.