Can a non-baptized person join a lay ministry


#1

I don't even know whether I am posting in the right forum, I have done a search and couldn't find anything relevant anywhere. Truly hope that someone here can enlighten me.

Can the coordinator of a lay ministry allow a non-Catholic to join a ministry as a member? Does the Church allow such an act? Another question, lay ministries are usually not heavily-regulated, how accurate can one be sure about their legitimacy of their teachings. Any help will be greatly appreciated!


#2

It would help if you where to describe what kind of ministry you are talking about. I would say that there are a few ministries that a non catholic could join without any problem.


#3

Hi, it is a charismatic ministry, mainly praise and worship, praying over, sharing sessions where a speaker (lay Catholic) would stand in front of the congregants and share the Word with his/her own experiences and teach in some sense.


#4

The only requirements for participation in such an apostolate are set forward by the coordinators of the apostolate, themselves.

Now, if you were asking, “could an unbaptized person be a lector?” I’m sure that would be no.


#5

I would say that a prayer group is a good way to start the ecumenical/conversion effort. The only caveat is that the prayers must be consistent with Catholic teachings. Anyone can be moved by the Holy Spirit, conversion into the Church is driven by the Holy Spirit. I think that the leader of the ministry/prayer group has the responsibility to make sure that things stay orthodox.


#6

Thanks for the response, just a couple of questions.

How is one able to determine which ministry is allowed for an unbaptized person to join?

In a hypothetical situation, the coordinator of such a ministry can allow the members to be protestant in majority?

Since a sharing session is done by a lay Catholic and the congregants are non members, shouldn’t there be any scrutiny to what they should share and teach?


#7

I agree with that. The prayers are orthodox but the way the sharing sessions are carried out are more of a concern to me. Seems to me like each of the speakers are interpreting the words of the Scriptures in their own way. Is this permitted and is no scrutiny required when such a sharing/teaching is taking place? Since this ministry is based in church wouldn’t it be taken by the congregants to be accurate even if there are mistakes?


#8

I think it would be appropriate to allow a non-Catholic to join a ministry but I would not leave them to their own devices, I would always put a Catholic with them to help. I think its inappropriate to have non-Catholic “leadership” in a Catholic setting. If a person does not understand what the Church teaches then how can he or she lead someone to Christ? That’s like having the blind lead the blind.

Let them join in. use their help but don’t put a non-Catholic in a position of power in a Catholic organization. In my personal experience, it only leads to confusion and problems.


#9

There is not really any way to know without understanding the particular gifts and work of the apostolate.

I would think that anyone (Catholic, Protestant, unbaptized, etc) could assist in the work of a ministry to homeless.

A prayer and teaching group would probably be of more interest to Catholics and those Protestants/unbaptized persons who are interested in the Catholic faith.

Having a majority of non-Catholics in an apostolate indicates to me that it is ecumenical in nature and may need to either split into cooperative groups (one Catholic, the other non-) or reconstituted so that any auspices of being Catholic are removed.

Like kmuestwin wrote, it is probably a good idea to limit leadership positions to Catholics only.


#10

[quote="Joybearer, post:1, topic:280295"]
I don't even know whether I am posting in the right forum, I have done a search and couldn't find anything relevant anywhere. Truly hope that someone here can enlighten me.

Can the coordinator of a lay ministry allow a non-Catholic to join a ministry as a member? Does the Church allow such an act? Another question, lay ministries are usually not heavily-regulated, how accurate can one be sure about their legitimacy of their teachings. Any help will be greatly appreciated!

[/quote]

You only need to be called by God, And told by God to do it, If he tells you that He wants you to MInister,then you Minister, Know man or religion can [Or should] stop you.


#11

The nonbaptized can join if the founder states such in the statutes.

What you’re wanting to found is a private lay association of the faithful. I have several of these, which have as one of their goals the establishment of new religious charisms/orders.

The statutes have to have the following:

Nature, purpose and name
membership
manner of action
government and center
review and amendment of statutes

Your local ordinary has need of only a cover letter with a copy of the statutes so they know how to answer questions regarding the group. You don’t need to meet w/your local bishop, but it might be helpful for him to put a face with a name.

I tell the non-Catholics who participate in our LAFs that they’re welcome as long as they obey our canon law and our statutes. If our bishop’s people show up at your doorstep, and want to see the books at midnight, please accommodate them.

I have a set of statutes-in-progress on this LAF site: cloisters.tripod.com/camm/

HTH

Blessings,
Cloisters


#12

Thanks for all the replies! All of you have been a great help. From the responses I gather that,

[LIST]
*]a non baptized person can join a lay apostolate ministry solely with the permission of the coordinator
*]leadership positions in the ministry should be limited to Catholics(at the coordinator's discretion)
[/LIST]
I still have some unanswered questions which are,

[LIST]
*]Teaching done by lay Catholics interpreting and teaching the Word. Appropriate?
*]Should any scrutiny by a religious always be present when the teaching/sharing session is taking place to ensure accuracy(since anybody can just enter and join in the prayer meet)?
[/LIST]
Thanks once again!


#13

Everyone can claim to be “told by God” and found their own ministries, churches and even denominations at their whim and fancy. Furthermore, Catholicism is not merely a religion and certainly not one that would hinder you from the works of God. I appreciate your intent to help but I apologize that I do not agree with your line of reasoning. IMHO, yes, as servants of God we must respond with great zeal to the will of God but operating with just the “prompting of the Spirit” is just plain dangerous.


#14

This is why one has a spiritual director.

There are also bible study courses out there that have been approved by higher authority. I would use one of them.

Blessings,
Cloisters


#15

[quote="Joybearer, post:12, topic:280295"]
Thanks for all the replies! All of you have been a great help. From the responses I gather that,

[LIST]
*]a non baptized person can join a lay apostolate ministry solely with the permission of the coordinator
*]leadership positions in the ministry should be limited to Catholics(at the coordinator's discretion)
[/LIST]
I still have some unanswered questions which are,

[LIST]
*]Teaching done by lay Catholics interpreting and teaching the Word. Appropriate?
*]Should any scrutiny by a religious always be present when the teaching/sharing session is taking place to ensure accuracy(since anybody can just enter and join in the prayer meet)?
[/LIST]
Thanks once again!

[/quote]

Some of your best practical and pragmatic insights may come from non-Catholics.

Know your scriptures, catechism, and Magisterium before embarking on this. Then you will know when someone strays, and you'll gently (I hope) guide them back. "I" and "we" statements gain more ground than "you", which comes across as an accusation.

You're doing what's essentially Catholic outreach work, so please take delivery methods into consideration. I tell my personnel to be sweet as they are probably the only Bible anyone will ever read, and treat all guests as Christ Himself.

Blessings,
cloisters


#16

Is this a parish based ministry? If so, the pastor has the final say in who does the teaching and what materials are used. Sometimes the pastor may delegate this authority but no material should be used that the pastor is not aware of or that he would object to. This doesn’t mean that every session has to be supervised however.

It’s fine for lay people to teach in the setting of prayer meetings. Individuals do not interpret the Word, however. They might expand on it, out it into historical context or relate it to the Catechism or other Church teaching.


#17

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