The Essential Roles of the Bishop & Clergy in the RCIA Process
RCIA is conceived of by Holy Mother Church as a collaborative work, under the leadership of our clerical shepherds. The ritual book specifically describes catechists and other members of the laity as individuals who “work with priests and deacons” (RCIA 7). This phrase recognizes the mutual dependence of the clergy and laity upon each other; it does not offer an option for either clergy or laity to “go it alone.” The most noticeable areas of collaboration described in the ritual book are in catechesis and discernment, extending, for example, from sponsors/godparents up to the bishop of the diocese in the chain of accountability that unfolds in the Rite of Election. This workshop explores these complementary roles through the RCIA process. Only when every role is fulfilled does the Christian initiation process properly accomplish its part in the exalted mission of evangelizing and initiating adults into the mystery of Christ and the communion of the Catholic Church.