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Code of Canon Law

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CHAPTER I. The Preaching of the Word of God

Can.762 Sacred ministers, among whose principal duties is the proclamation of the gospel of God to all, are to

hold the function of preaching in esteem since the people of God are first brought together by the word of the

living God, which it is certainly right to require from the mouth of priests.

Can.763 Bishops have the right to preach the word of God everywhere, including in churches and oratories of

religious institutes of pontifical right, unless the local bishop has expressly forbidden it in particular cases.

Can.764 Without prejudice to the prescript of can. 765, presbyters and deacons possess the faculty of preaching

everywhere; this faculty is to be exercised with at least the presumed consent of the rector of the church, unless

the competent ordinary has restricted or taken away the faculty or particular law requires express permission.

Can.765 Preaching to religious in their churches or oratories requires the permission of the superior competent

according to the norm of the constitutions.

Can.766 Lay persons can be permitted to preach in a church or oratory, if necessity requires it in certain

circumstances or it seems advantageous in particular cases, according to the prescripts of the conference of

bishops and without prejudice to can. 767, §1.

Can.767 §1. Among the forms of preaching, the homily, which is part of the liturgy itself and is reserved to a

priest or deacon, is preeminent; in the homily the mysteries of faith and the norms of Christian life are to be

explained from the sacred text during the course of the liturgical year.

§2. A homily must be given at all Masses on Sundays and holy days of obligation which are celebrated

with a congregation, and it cannot be omitted except for a grave cause.

§3. It is strongly recommended that if there is a sufficient congregation, a homily is to be given even at

Masses celebrated during the week, especially during the time of Advent and Lent or on the occasion of some

feast day or a sorrowful event.

§4. It is for the pastor or rector of a church to take care that these prescripts are observed conscientiously.

Can.768 §1. Those who proclaim the divine word are to propose first of all to the Christian faithful those things

which one must believe and do for the glory of God and the salvation of humanity.

§2. They are also to impart to the faithful the doctrine which the magisterium of the Church sets forth

concerning the dignity and freedom of the human person, the unity and stability of the family and its duties,

the obligations which people have from being joined together in society, and the ordering of temporal aVairs

according to the plan established by God.

Can.769 Christian doctrine is to be set forth in a way accommodated to the condition of the listeners and in a

manner adapted to the needs of the times.

Can.770 At certain times according to the prescripts of the diocesan bishop, pastors are to arrange for those types

of preaching which are called spiritual exercises and sacred missions or for other forms of preaching adapted to


Can.771 §1. Pastors of souls, especially bishops and pastors, are to be concerned that the word of God is also

proclaimed to those of the faithful who because of the condition of their life do not have suYcient common and

ordinary pastoral care or lack it completely.

§2. They are also to make provision that the message of the gospel reaches non-believers living in the

territory since the care of souls must also extend to them no less than to the faithful.

Can.772 §1. In the exercise of preaching, moreover, all are to observe the norms issued by the diocesan bishop.

§2. In giving a radio or television talk on Christian doctrine, the prescripts established by the conference of

bishops are to be observed.

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