Is it OK for a non-Catholic to be reader or commentator during Mass?

You’re saying that you do not actually know for a fact that the bishop has given his approval, you are making that assumption based on your own lack of any knowlege that he might have said something, or that he might even be aware of what’s really happening.

It’s still entirely plausible your Bishop is not aware of the liturgical regulations found in the 1993 Directory on Ecumenism. It simply might not have occurred to your Bishop that there is any statement from the Church about this practice. It’s not his fault, really… there are a lot of documents from the Church, and this particular Directory doesn’t appear at first to be a liturgical resource. Plus, the regulation isn’t included in the GIRM nor RS. There are liturgical regulations spread across a wide array of documents, so it’s hard work to keep up with all of them.

I’m not disappointed in (or by) your Bishop. It seems likely to me he just doesn’t know something about the Church’s regulations for the Mass. Or maybe he doesn’t know that the children doing the reading aren’t Catholic.

I think the most likely scenario is what you say at the end: the bishop is simply unaware of the fact that the local parish is disregarding the norm of law and allowing non-Catholics to be readers at Mass.

In my particular case it was a retreat for single working adults, and the presiding priest was the spiritual director. So I assumed that implicit approval was given, and if it wasn’t given Father would have said something after Mass.

You make good points, thanks japhy. You’re right, there is a possibility the Bishop is not aware of this. I’m just saying from my experience and knowledge of him, the pastor involved, and the parish, that I think it’s highly unlikely that he (the Bishop) is oblivious to this issue. Our Bishop is very very conscientious about liturgy and catechesis, from my experience. But, maybe he is ignorant in this area; again, just from my long experience with this diocese, Bishop, parish, and pastor I tend to doubt it. I also tend to give our Bishops the benefit of the doubt unless there’s clear and overwhelming evidence to the contrary. That’s all, just sharing an experience I’ve come across that I thought was relevant to the subject. Thanks again for your thoughts.

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