Pope Francis intends to open conversation with bishops' conferences on lay ministries

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Pope Francis is calling for the world's bishops' conferences to engage in dialogue on Church ministries open to the laity.

The Pope's message directed to the world's bishops, consecrated, and faithful laypeople, comes in light of 50 years since Pope Paul VI's Motu Proprio “Ministeria quaedam,” which opened the door for lay men to serve as lectors and altar servers. 

In it, the Pope recalls the two recent decrees he issued related to the ministry of the laity. In January 2021, he changed canon law to allow women to be permanently installed as lectors or acolytes, a custom already practiced in much of the Church. 

Four months later, he instituted the lay ministry of catechist, and formally conferred this ministry to candidates during a Mass in St. Peter's Basilica. 

The Pope reaffirmed that these changes do not go beyond the doctrine established by Pope Paul VI, but are a development of doctrine based on the same principles.

Pope Francis also said he hopes to begin a dialogue on the ministry of all the baptized in the coming months with the world's bishop's conferences, to share the richness of the ministerial experiences they have lived in the last 50 years. 


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