Protestant Speaker at Mass


My parish is having an interdenominational ministry help with out with our financial situation and the person helping our parish is Protestant (at least i think he was, our priest said he belonged to a Presbyterian church). I havr no problem with either of those things; I think he could help alot. My concern is what happened at Mass.

During the Homily my priest briefly talked about the Gospel and tied it to our financial situation. Then he introduced the person who was going to help us and the ministry he worked for. After that, he was invited to speak, it was still during the Homily time. Was this allowed? It seems odd to me because we aren’t allowed to participate at Protestant services, so how could a Protestant speak during Mass.


No, that is not allowed.


But not because he’s a Protestant. Because this sort of thing should be done after the Prayer after Communion.


Agreed. And the information could have been a supplementary page to the weekly bulletin or on the Church’s (if they have one) website. There is no tangible reason for that manner of presentation being an appropriate part of Mass.

Or, a presentation on another day could be offered and an announcement could have been made at Mass so that people who are interested could attend.


A Protestant can speak, but not at that point in the Mass. He should speak right at the end before the final prayer.


No, a layperson should not be giving a homily or part of it. I could understand, depending on the seriousness of the problem, that your pastor might have thought the subject grave enough for the homily.

Don’t dwell on the “Protestant” thing. Some Protestants are more Catholic than many Catholics.


Exactly, the GIRM expressly prohibits this, only someone with Holy Orders can speak at this time and it should pertain to the readings as they relate to today’s needs.
Paragraph 66 -
66. The homily should ordinarily be given by the priest celebrant himself. He may entrust it to a concelebrating priest or occasionally, according to circumstances, to the deacon, but never to a lay person.[65] In particular cases and for a just cause, the homily may even be given by a Bishop or a priest who is present at the celebration but cannot concelebrate

However, I understand most likely why this was done… too many people wait until after Mass has started (we have people walking in after the middle of the Gospel, they time it that way as it is the same people every time, at the same point) and leave just after communion; thus announcements prior to Mass or at the end of Mass miss a fair number of people. It’s understandable, yet, really should not have happened… in charity, forgive the celebrant, keep in mind that the intention was for the health of the Church and if possible let it go.

However, if this really bothers you, you should consult with the celebrant and let him know how you felt. If you don’t feel that this was heard, then the pastor, and finally the Chancery Office.

Pray for Peace.


It went fine didn’t it?
There are so many rules of our church that even priests sometime go wrong about certain things and this sounds like one of those occasions.
I wouldn’t make to much out of it if it happens only rarely though.
It’s merely a imperfection rather than a grave abuse anyway…

Yours in Jesus and Mary


Not that this lets anyone off the hook; but I think I may know why the priest did what he did. The priest might have wanted as many parishoners as possible to hear his guest speak. I know that many Catholics like to slink away immediately after they recieve the Eucharist, and the priest may have wanted those people to hear the gentleman speak as well.

As I said, I am only guessing at the motive; not agreeing with what was done.


I would not think that this would be allowed. While I am sure that the Protestant didn’t say anything that he shouldn’t have said, I would always be concerned with the possibility of false theology being thrown in. I think that is why only priests and deacons are allowed to preach the homily. Now granted, priests and deacons aren’t immune from false theology but since they have gone through seminary and are ordained by the Catholic Church, they are much less likely to preach false theology.


While the abuse of lay preaching was significant enough in 2004 to merit mention in Redemptionis Sacramentum, it is not among those considered grave abuses according to the list in Chapter VIII part 2.


I don’t think he was preaching, but presenting the financial program the parish was going to use. However, it should have been done after Communion. I don’t think it is a grave abuse, though. Our appeal for Catholic Charities is usually given at the homily, and the Bishop does not seem to object.


It also seems that there is some ongoing controversy as to whether or not any kind of dissertation that takes place at this general time during the Mass is to be considered part of the homily.

Annual appeals for money usually happen immediately after a brief homily by the priest because there is a far greater chance that people are listening then than there is a likelihood that people will listen (or still be around) after communion.

I suspect some parishes (rightly or wrongly) consider talks about financial giving to be part of the profession of faith rather than part of the homily.


Thanks for the replies.

I don’t feel that this is a big enough issue to warrant any complaints. Still if this was a violation of the rubrics it would bother me and since that was my assumption I was bothered during Mass. Also, I want to clarify he wasn’t preaching, just talking about his plans and mentioning that there would be a talk on this given the following day. I actually appreciated his awareness that he was speaking to Catholics. I think he was w great guy and will do a lot of good.

So if I’m understanding correctly having someone speak during the homily, in addition to the priest, isn’t allowed (or it’s at least debatable), but whether said lay speaker is a Catholic or Protestant is irrelevant. Is this correct?



No need to complain to the Bishop or anything, although I would suggest charitably mentioning it to Father during a conversation. Perhaps say something like…

"Father, I don’t mean to be rude, but my understanding was that the laity were not permitted to speak during the time reserved for a homily? :thumbsup:


I don’t know if it would be worth it. So many parishes do something like this occasionally. Also, I can’t see mentioning this actually changing anything.


If a priest refuses to adhere to the rubrics that the Church has established for him to use even after being kindly reminded, then there may be a need to inform the Bishop. :shrug:



The man didn’t preach; therefore, he did not attempt to give a homily. And so, the priest did not “refuse to adhere to the rubrics.” You may disagree with the timing of the discussion on the parish’s plans, but that doesn’t mean that the discussion was a ‘homily’. :wink:

If I were your pastor and you came to me with this, I think I might gently remind you what is (and what isn’t) a homily, and thank you for your attention to the rite… :shrug:


Then I kindly remind you that it doesn’t have to be a ‘homily’ for it to be liturgical abuse. The time for a homily is not to be used for announcements and guest speakers.


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.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit