The controversial 38-page pamphlet was circulated by Dutch Dominicans in August to the country's 1,300 Catholic parishes. The tract argued that in the absence of a priest, lay ministers could confect the Eucharist. "Whether they are women or men, homosexual or heterosexual, married or single, makes no difference," the pamphlet said. "What is important is the infectious attitude of faith."
Bishop Hubertus Ernst, the retired head of the Breda diocese, saw the pamphlet-- which had been approved by leaders of the Dominican order in the Netherlands-- as "ambiguous" and "erroneous" in its understanding of priestly ministry.
From Rome, leaders of the Dominican order said that the pamphlet did not offer a realistic response to the shortage of priests. While applauding the concern for that shortage, the Roman leaders said that "this concern must be responded to in a careful theological and pastoral reflection."