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 Kaunas, May 29: Archbishop Tamkevičius Emphasized Responsibility for Sacramental Preparation

On the occasion of the feast of Corpus Christi, on May 29 Archbishop Sigitas Tamkevičius published the pastoral letter appealing for responsible preparation for the sacraments. The Archbishop of Kaunas emphasized, that the responsibility for proper preparation falls both to priests, and to the community of the faithful. He recalled that sacramental celebration and the preparation for the sacraments of Christian initiation should take place in the parish community, so that the “faithful may be rooted in the parish and become conscious and active members of the community”. “The faithful should appreciate their parish community similarly as good children cherish their family”. The preparation for the Sacrament of Penance and First Communion should comprise not only catechesis but necessarily include also participation in parish Sunday Mass. The Sacrament of Matrimony should be celebrated in the parish of either betrothed. “ A priest who would bless the marriage without proper preparation, would inflict spiritual damage to the spouses”, warned the Archbishop of Kaunas. The Archbishop criticized priests who, “seeking use and popularity”, administer sacraments without adequate preparation to the faithful from other parish communities. He also criticized the practice when parents use to send out their children for superficial sacramental preparation during some summer weeks, and called it “intolerable relic from soviet times”.

The pastoral letter was announced and commented in the diocesan conference of the clergy on May 25. Speaking in the conference Archbishop Tamkevičius also reminded about due administration of Church offerings. He said that the offerings for the parish should not be used as means of priests’ subsistence. The priests live for offerings, freely given for the celebration of the Mass and other religious services. The Archbishop warned to avoid pressure in demanding higher offerings. He also urged to develop greater accountability in administration of parish finances.

Catholic Internet Service

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