Should a habitual drug user be allowed to serve in Mass as Lector, Commentator or Lay Minister?

Should the church allow a drug user/dependent and heavy, daily alcohol drinker to serve in any capacity in mass such as lector, commentator or eucharistic lay minister? I know of some who do but I’m sure that the parish priest and the other servers & community are not aware of it.

It quite disturbs me because it seems contrary that someone who use drugs and drink alcohol everyday actively serve in mass. Quite contrary to serving the Lord and to Catholic teachings about the body being the temple of the Holy Spirit.

If so, as a member of the community, what should I do? Should I tell our spiritual director/priest so he could investigate it?

And for those persons concerned, what should they do? Should they be obliged to confess and reveal these ‘truths’ to the priest? Or voluntarily resign? But if they do not voluntarily resign, what should be next step? It seems that they enjoy being in the limelight rather than truly serving the Lord.

It’s really disturbing to see someone who serves at mass daily, and at the same, you fully know of this person’s drug use/abuse and heavy, daily alcohol intake. The person not only use the drugs, but passes-on/supplies to their own family and friends.

Please enlighten!

Proclaiming the word can bring good in this person’s life and the lives of others.

Of course sinfulness seems contrary, but who could even be disciples of Christ let alone lector a if perfection were required.

Christ did not tell Matthew to repent first and then follow, he simply told him to follow immediately…and everything took care of itself after that…and interestingly those who thought themselves to be more righteous than tax collector condemned Christ for eating with sinners at a banquet held by Matthew…perhaps Christ is working in this persons life through their participation as a lector.

Ponder the message and not just the messenger is my advice, and pray for him!

I’d say no: it’s dangerous and could be a source of scandal.

However, we don’t know all the facts of the case. If the person concerned is seeking help and trying to “kick his habits”, he deserves support and encouragement. (And if he’s taking treatment that makes him look “dopey” - such as methadone or other prescription psychotropics) it might be unwise to speculate on how much he’s using. Talk to your priest discreetly, but don’t make a crusade out of it.

It’s the priest’s place to make such an assessment. Not ours.

How do you know if this person is using drugs or drinking? Is it first hand knowledge or rumors? You make it sound like more that one but from your post I am not sure. First of all, it is up to the priest to determine is someone is in good standing with the church or not. You kinda come across as judgmental. There really is no way you can judge anyone as to the motives of why or why not in serving at the Church. Again it is not up to you in this at all. Unless you have actually first hand knowledge or witness them taking drugs yourself, you need to learn to mine your own business. As a lector myself, I really find it hard to believe an active drug user is going to want to serve at the Church in any capacity.

Yes. If a handicapped person wanted to be a laity server or reader there would not be a problem with it. Why would it be a problem for an alcoholic? We are all God’s children. Addiction to alcohol and drugs is a disease. Most alcoholics are functioning alcoholics who suffer in silence. Most are highly intelligent educated members of society. You may be sitting next to an alcoholic right now and not even know it. Thank God they are attending Mass and wanting to serve. Perhaps it is a cry for help.

What counts as habitual drug use and heavy use of alcohol. Many of the men who were most prominent in parish life when I was young were Irishmen of a certain generation who where fairly rough and tough lads from small villages and towns who were not averse to quaffing a fair few ales of a Friday night. Many of them smoked like chimney’s. We need to establish facts and not rumour and judge it against a context. We lack all the facts to judge the situation in the OP ultimately.

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