Thursday, August 4, 2016


As a presbyterate we are about to embark on a planning session to decide what we are going to do about the number of parishes we have vs the number of priest we will have in the future.  There will be those who stand up and give an imploring speech that we should have married priests, female priests, and so forth.  Whether I agree or not, these things are not going to change within the next couple of years and we need to start taking control over those areas in which we can have some immediate effect.  

Another topic that will come up (again) is that priests should be relieved of all “business” responsibilities.  They should be able just to focus on sacraments (and the accompanying paperwork) and leave everything else to lay people.  That way the priests are freed up to do more of what priests are ordained to do and lay folks can take a stronger leadership role in the Church.

The only problem with this model is that it is not what Vatican II envisioned.  It would require more than changing the policies of a diocese, it would involve reworking international canon law, Church teaching, and the documents of Vatican II.  When a Catholic is baptized, he is also anointed priest, prophet, and king.  When a priest is ordained, it is understood that he too will fulfill all of these roles.  Administration is not just an extra tacked on to being a priest, it is a part of who he is called to be.  As “Father” and “pastor,” he is called to this role as much as is a father of a household is called to help manage the affairs of the family.  

A dad, ideally, not only supports his family, but offers himself in love, teaches, leads, and brings to Christ.  When one of these are not present we usually see a path to divorce or the result of divorce.  So it is with the Father of a parish.  These are his roles and so our focus on solving our problems will have to lie elsewhere.  


Anonymous said...

When and if women are ordained hopefully it will be done not out a sense of desperation or expediency but rather out of a sense of justice and an appreciation of the unique gifts that women will bring not only to the primary duty of preaching but to all the other forms of presbyteral and diaconal ministry.

Stephen said...

Dear father,

In our family, our father did the important work of providing an income for our family and teaching us how to live. while us four boys did all the yard work, cutting grass, shoveling snow, raking leaves, cleaning the garage, the car, the dogs and the kennel and all the windows. None of us died from to much work.

Personally, I would like my Pastor to farm out the H/C, parking lot maintenance, lawn care and the 10,000 other things that lay people do daily. We need the few priests we have left to Teach, Preach and Sanctify.

Stephen, Lay Parochial Deakonia