Blessed James Alberione

Opera Omnia


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Section Two
The minister of the publishing apostolate can be either ordinary or extraordinary. The one who has the principal mandate and office is the ordinary minister. This is the priest. The extraordinary minister is one who cooperates in union with the ordinary minister and in dependence on him. This is a role open to all Catholics and even to schismatics, heretics and infidels.1
Confining ourselves here to the ordinary minister, we can say that this is the priest. Basically this is so for two reasons: by divine choice and by reason of his office.
By divine choice
The publishing apostolate is, as we said, the preaching of God's truth in written form. But since Jesus Christ entrusted this truth to the teaching Church, to her alone, that is, to the Pope and to the Bishops united with him and, through transmission to the sacred ministers constituted by them, or to use a generic term, to the "priest", preaching, both oral and written, is his concern.
It is the priest who, entrusted with people's souls, generates them in the Gospel and through grace to Christ. It is for the priest to give authoritative instruction in the truths, in morals, in divine worship and in the means of salvation. How he does this [the means], whether orally or through publishing, is incidental. It depends on the circumstances.
Therefore the more the need is felt for publishing, the greater becomes the duty and the opportunity for the priest to develop this apostolate.
By reason of his office
The priest has principally two roles in the Church. The first is to offer Christ to the Trinity; the second is to give Christ to the world.
He offers Christ to the Trinity in the sacrifice of the Mass. He gives Christ to the world in two
ways: [he gives] Christ Life in the administration of the Eucharist and in all the other Sacraments and Sacramentals.
[He gives] Christ Way and Truth through evangelization. He does this by teaching, popularizing, applying and defending Christ's divine word, his law and his divine example, as well as by enjoining people to follow his precepts. Now the apostle can do all these things just as well with the publishing apostolate as he can with the spoken word. As a matter of fact, in many cases, the publishing apostolate is better suited than that of the spoken word.
If the priest is therefore the ordinary minister of the spoken word so too is he of the published word; now if the object and the goal are common to both apostolates, or missions, so too, then, must be the minister.

1 Throughout the book (to be noted once and for all), the single term "apostle" will embrace both the ordinary and the extraordinary minister.