Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Ms. DeRycke Explains Why She Calls Herself “Pastoral Leader”

February 24th, 2010, Promulgated by Dr. K

From the latest Church of the Good Shepherd bulletin:

Ms. DeRycke can call herself “Pastoral Administrator”, “Pastoral Leader”, “Grand Maha Pumba” or what have you; but as long as she continues to take on some title indicating the leadership role in a parish, Church law is being disobeyed.

For those who missed our post on Canon 517.2, here is what the Church says about lay people assuming parish leadership titles:

Ecclesiae de Mysterio
?It is unlawful for the non-ordained faithful to assume titles such as “pastor“, “chaplain“, “coordinator“, “moderator” or other such similar titles which can confuse their role and that of the Pastor, who is always a Bishop or Priest.(58)?

#58 end note-
“(58) Such examples should include all those linguistic expressions: which in languages of the various countries, are similar or equal and indicate a directive role of leadership or such vicarious activity.”

I’m sorry Ms. DeRycke, but titles DO matter. Our priests are not “sacramental ministers”, and Fr. Chumo is certainly no “assisting priest” to you. He is the parish priest, and as such, he deserves the title of Pastor. You also do not possess any right whatsoever to assign titles to yourself or to the parish priest.

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3 Responses to “Ms. DeRycke Explains Why She Calls Herself “Pastoral Leader””

  1. Anonymous says:

    Who are the "some" people that she is referring to who are calling her a pastroal leader? I have yet to hear anyone refer to her as such.

  2. Coburn says:

    True, true. It's just like our Lord said,

    "But be not you called Rabbi. For one is your master; and all you are brethren. And call none your father upon earth; for one is your father, who is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters; for one is your master, Christ."

    (Don't take me too seriously, I'm teasing)

  3. Gen says:

    The priest is in persona Christi – in the person of Christ. For this reason priests are spiritual fathers.

    If you will permit me, the following is from the people at

    Some Fundamentalists argue that this usage changed with the New Testament?that while it may have been permissible to call certain men "father" in the Old Testament, since the time of Christ, it?s no longer allowed. This argument fails for several reasons.

    First, as we?ve seen, the imperative "call no man father" does not apply to one?s biological father. It also doesn?t exclude calling one?s ancestors "father," as is shown in Acts 7:2, where Stephen refers to "our father Abraham," or in Romans 9:10, where Paul speaks of "our father Isaac."

    Second, there are numerous examples in the New Testament of the term "father" being used as a form of address and reference, even for men who are not biologically related to the speaker. There are, in fact, so many uses of "father" in the New Testament, that the Fundamentalist interpretation of Matthew 23 (and the objection to Catholics calling priests "father") must be wrong, as we shall see.

    Third, a careful examination of the context of Matthew 23 shows that Jesus didn?t intend for his words here to be understood literally. The whole passage reads, "But you are not to be called ?rabbi,? for you have one teacher, and you are all brethren. And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. Neither be called ?masters,? for you have one master, the Christ" (Matt. 23:8?10).

    The first problem is that although Jesus seems to prohibit the use of the term "teacher," in Matthew 28:19?20, Christ himself appointed certain men to be teachers in his Church: "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations . . . teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you." Paul speaks of his commission as a teacher: "For this I was appointed a preacher and apostle . . . a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth" (1 Tim. 2:7); "For this gospel I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher" (2 Tim. 1:11). He also reminds us that the Church has an office of teacher: "God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers" (1 Cor. 12:28); and "his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers" (Eph. 4:11). There is no doubt that Paul was not violating Christ?s teaching in Matthew 23 by referring so often to others as "teachers."

    Fundamentalists themselves slip up on this point by calling all sorts of people "doctor," for example, medical doctors, as well as professors and scientists who have Ph.D. degrees (i.e., doctorates). What they fail to realize is that "doctor" is simply the Latin word for "teacher." Even "Mister" and "Mistress" ("Mrs.") are forms of the word "master," also mentioned by Jesus. So if his words in Matthew 23 were meant to be taken literally, Fundamentalists would be just as guilty for using the word "teacher" and "doctor" and "mister" as Catholics for saying "father." But clearly, that would be a misunderstanding of Christ?s words.

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