Does "Pastoral Privilege" allow a pastor to leave the Eucharist exposed & unattended?

Our parish has exposition of the Eucharist during 24x7 perpetual adoration. However, there are many hours during the day that the exposed Eucharist is left unattended.

My understanding is that this should not be permitted, however it has been explained to me by members of my church that the pastor is exercising “pastoral privilege”.

Can you refer me to reading material on pastoral privilege? I was surprised that it actually applies in this situation.

Thank you

Dear Barry,

There is no such privilege. No one has the right to leave the Blessed Sacrament un attended. Redemptionis Sacramentum, the recent Vatican document on the Eucharist explicitly states:

  1. “Still, the Most Holy Sacrament, when exposed, must never be left unattended even for the briefest space of time. It should therefore be arranged that at least some of the faithful always be present at fixed times, even if they take alternating turns.” It “must never be left unattended.” So much for “pastoral privilege.”

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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