Online edition – April 1998, Vol. IV: No. 2
US Bishops Appoint Subcommittee to Consider Implementation of Instruction
During the November 1997 meeting of the NCCB, Bishop James Hoffman of Toledo introduced the Vatican Instruction on Certain Questions Regarding the Collaboration of the Non-Ordained Faithful in the Sacred Ministry of Priests.
Bishop Hoffman, a member of the Subcommittee on Lay Ministry, said that the "Instruction will be very useful to the NCCB Lay Ministry Subcommittee which has been working toward a definition of Ecclesial Lay Ministers", and that the Subcommittee "carefully maintains the distinction" between the ordained and the laity.
At a press conference later, Bishop Hoffman said that he believed the abuses the Instruction addresses were not primarily a problem in the US. He warned against focusing on the 13 Articles of the Instruction which address abuses. Instead, he said, the Instruction should be seen as supporting the priesthood as something "special".
A committee of bishops was appointed by Bishop Anthony Pilla, President of the NCCB, to decide how the Instruction might be implemented in the us. No timetable for the committee’s report was announced.
Members of the Implementation subcommittee, with their current offices in the NCCB, are:
Chairman: Bishop James Hoffman, Toledo – Subcommittee on Lay Ministry;
Bishop Stepehn Blaire, Auxiliary, Los Angeles – Committees on Evangelization, Pastoral Practices, Campaign for Human Development;
Bishop Thomas Doran, Rockford Illinois – Committee on Canonical Affairs;
Bishop John Dunne, Auxiliary, Rockville Centre, NY – Chairman, Committee on Women;
Bishop Richard Hanifen, Colorado Springs – Committee on Women;
Bishop Gerald Kicanas, Auxiliary, Chicago – Committees on Laity, Liturgy, Priestly Formation;
Bishop Emil Wcela, Auxiliary, Rockville Centre – Ad Hoc Committee on Review of Scripture Translation, Committees on Liturgy, Pastoral Practices and Subcommittee on Lay Ministry;
Bishop Richard Sklba, Auxiliary, Milwaukee – Chairman Ad Hoc Committee on Review of Scripture Translation, Committees on Doctrine, Marriage and Family.
The Instruction: The Distinction of Roles Reaffirmed