Let laity lead parishes, priests' resolution urges US bishops
#1
Interesting article that points out a very disturbing trend that at the face of it, appears to be dealt with in a thoughtful manner, but I fear, with time, we will be going down a slippery slope that will lead to the weakening of the Catholic aspect of our Dear Church...an erosion of our Traditions which will make us more protestant-like in the end.

Lets hope and pray that this tenet is maintained in all of this, as the article points out:

Quote:The resolution urged that bishops employ lay workers, deacons and religious who are currently in pastoral ministry to lead parishes under the direction of ordained pastors, a framework allowed in canon law. [emphasis mine]


So, here it is,the promotion of the lay ministers...



Quote:Link to Original Article


 
Let laity lead parishes, priests' resolution urges US bishops
Jan 25, 2018 by Peter Feuerherd Parish


[Image: 20160205T1220-1989-CNS-ATLANTA-CATECHIST...k=f0sAxgLI]
Lay students receiving a pastoral theology certificate in Spanish line up before Mass and a graduation ceremony in January 2016 at Holy Spirit Church in Atlanta. (CNS/Georgia Bulletin/Thomas Spink)



Priests are graying, fewer in number, with little relief in sight.

That reality was the impetus for a resolution endorsed by the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests, calling upon Catholic bishops in the United States to enlist the aid of lay pastoral workers to administer parishes.

Passed by the association at its convention in Atlanta last June, the resolution calls upon the church to allow "well prepared pastoral ministers who, working collaboratively with canonical pastors, can know, guide and accompany the faithful on their journey of faith via parish communities."

The resolution urged that bishops employ lay workers, deacons and religious who are currently in pastoral ministry to lead parishes under the direction of ordained pastors, a framework allowed in canon law.

These lay leaders and deacons should have "the flexibility to make ordinary decisions and actually lead the parish according to its gifts and needs."

The document envisions clusters of parishes, led by laypeople and deacons, who would make day-to-day decisions about their churches while reporting to an ordained pastor.

The priests' association urged bishops to provide more training for such lay leaders of priestless parishes. Such local leaders would enable parishes to minister to those who need pastoral care, including the sick and the bereaved, in a way that priest pastors, who are sometimes asked to oversee as many as three parishes at a time in some dioceses, are unable. The resolution stated that lay pastoral administrators should be paid a living wage, and be provided benefits and job security.

Lay leaders of priestless parishes, including women, can lead worship services and perform the duties of pastors, with the exception of sacramental tasks reserved for the ordained, the resolution said.

The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University notes that the number of priests in the U.S. is now about 37,000, a decline from 58,632 in 1965. The Catholic population has increased from 48.5 million to 74.2 million in that time, while attendance at Mass has declined from 55 percent of all Catholics in 1965 to 23 percent in 2017.

Out of 17,156 parishes in the U.S., more than 3,500 have no resident pastor. Laypeople and deacons administer 347 parishes, according to CARA.

Authors of the resolution from the priests' association said that the decline in clergy numbers and Catholic practice are related.

Fr. John Hynes, pastor of St. Catherine of Siena Church in Wilmington, Delaware, was co-chair of the committee that wrote the resolution. He said the document is a response to the impact of an aging, declining-in-numbers priesthood in the United States, and the continued consolidation of parishes due in part to the lack of potential leaders.

In 1965, there was one priest for every 1,000 Catholics, said Hynes. Today, there is one priest for every 2,500 Catholics. A third of diocesan priests are retired. At 78, Hynes said he is continuing in pastoral work, as the need is dire.

But continuing the status quo is not a long-term solution. "It's like we are cheating the people," said Hynes. "We need lay leaders in parishes to ensure that the range of Catholic life is fulfilled."

Already, a number of dioceses are employing lay pastoral leaders. But the effort is not consistent. Sometimes lay administrators are dismissed when a new bishop is brought to a diocese. That is why there is a need for the body of bishops to explicitly endorse the concept and provide consistency, said Hynes.

Msgr. Raymond Cole, a retired priest of the Diocese of Metuchen, New Jersey, and co-chair of the document committee, said it borrows from "Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord," a 2005 U.S. bishops' statement that encouraged lay pastoral workers.

But, he said, the concept "has to be opened to further growth and modification." In informal responses, bishops have responded favorably to the resolution, according to Cole.
And some dioceses, such as Youngstown, Ohio, and San Bernardino, California, already use laypeople as leaders of parishes, consistent with canon law.

There is still resistance, said Cole, who surmised that those bishops who oppose the use of lay workers as parish leaders have not been heard from. That opposition is formidable.

"It's change. It's asking for a major shift in the way we do things," he said.

But the resolution argues that inaction is dangerous.

"If USA Church leadership postpones dealing with this issue, the window of opportunity will slowly close. Then we will experience a greater collapse of parishes than we are currently experiencing, a loss of morale and health among priests, and further decline of the morale and trust of people who depend upon us to meet their spiritual needs. As our Catholic presence diminishes, so will our presence in society in all of its aspects," it says.

[Peter Feuerherd is a correspondent for NCR's Field Hospital series on parish life and is a professor of journalism at St. John's University, New York.]
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#2
It's enough to make one a Sedevacantist.
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#3
We used to have those in my diocese. I will never forget how proud the sister looked when she was asked to preach at Mass. She was a repulsive woman. The lay leaders were aging women who had no idea how to draw people into the Church other than those who shared their limited, temporal view of the Church. They talked about dialogue, but knew nothing about it. They would accompany death row inmates to their executions, but do nothing to give them the True Faith, that could have prevented them from heading down the wrong path in the firstborn place. They thought they were too good for teaching, so they became social workers to care for those who wandered down the wrong path in part due to lack of role models in their childhood.
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#4
(02-08-2018, 09:46 PM)Credidi Propter Wrote: We used to have those in my diocese. I will never forget how proud the sister looked when she was asked to preach at Mass. She was a repulsive woman. The lay leaders were aging women who had no idea how to draw people into the Church other than those who shared their limited, temporal view of the Church. They talked about dialogue, but knew nothing about it. They would accompany death row inmates to their executions, but do nothing to give them the True Faith, that could have prevented them from heading down the wrong path in the firstborn place. They thought they were too good for teaching, so they became social workers to care for those who wandered down the wrong path in part due to lack of role models in their childhood.

Interesting.

Quote:They talked about dialogue, but knew nothing about it. They would accompany death row inmates to their executions, but do nothing to give them the True Faith,...

This is the focus of the fallacy that is the lay minister: When you need a priest, like when you are facing death and really need a Confessor, you only have someone that can only offer placebos.

I too, have often noted, that for what ever reason, maybe because they are spitful of not being able to be priests, that there are so many women stepping into this and often with huge grudges on their shoulders. I see a trend in the Church that is shocking to me, that St. Paul warned about:

" 34 And women are to be silent in the churches; utterance is not permitted to them; let them keep their rank, as the law tells them: 35 if they have any question to raise, let them ask their husbands at home. That a woman should make her voice heard in the church is not seemly." 1 Cor 14: 34-35.

and

"8 It is my wish that prayer should everywhere be offered by the men; they are to lift up hands that are sanctified, free from all anger and dispute.[3] 9 So, too, with the women; they are to dress themselves modestly and with restraint in befitting attire; no plaited hair, no gold ornaments, or pearls, or rich clothes; 10 a virtuous life is the best adornment for women who lay claim to piety. 11 Women are to keep silence, and take their place, with all submissiveness, as learners; 12 a woman shall have no leave from me to teach, and issue commands to her husband; her part is to be silent." 1Tim 4:8-11.

In many instances, I find women get into a ministry and before long they 'own' it and will have no quarter. I have even seen KofC Lodges taken over with the Columbiettes getting involved.

I am a lay minister, but I know my limitations and they are many. I will call in an Ordained Minister at the least provocation. I can pray with you, but you need an anointed one to pray over you. I fear there will be less of that, as an a priori, with this new wave of lay ministers that the article discusses.

.
One should have an open mind; open enough that things get in, but not so open that everything falls out
Art Bell
  
I don't need a good memory, because I always tell the truth.
Jessie Ventura

Its no wonder truth is stranger than fiction.
Fiction has to make sense
Mark Twain

All War is Deception
Gen. Sun

You don't have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.
C.S. Lewis

Political Correctness is Fascism pretending to be manners.
George Carlin

“In a time of deceit…truth is a revolutionary act”
George Orwell
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#5
Interesting article. Women definitely have their place. I do not even receive the Eucharist from anyone but the Priest. A lot has changed in a very short time. I find that many priest are very wishy-washy. For instance at my children's school, the women run everything. The female principal runs everything and many of the teachers are liberal. I could tell you some crazy stories concerning my encounters and butting of heads with some there. I feel like the Priest is sleeping. My husband gets turned off too- with many of the things that are happening.
Example: My family does not celebrate Halloween or the day of the dead a Hispanic
pagan ritual and the school allows this, my family is an oddity, I am told by the principal . One little boy in my youngest child's class dresses in girls clothes and paints his nails. At open house they had pictures up on the wall and he was dressed like a princess for Halloween and was wearing makeup. My daughter is taught one way in the faith then goes to school, which is Catholic and is left scratching her head. The priest there is young and honestly a bit feminine. When you bring up concerns, they are brushed off. There is only one Catholic school in my tri-state area that does not celebrate Halloween, and the Priest insist on the traditional Catholic mass. He is old now and has gotten stern warnings from the local Bishop. The Priest at my children's school lets laity get involved in everything.

I also remember my husband was taken-a -back when the Priest who married us was promoting Islam and when my husband told him Christ is the way , the truth and the life, there is no other way to the Father except through Him, he stopped talking to my husband. I guess my point is..... this laity thing is not surprising, interesting but not surprising. Thank you for sharing this, and God Bless!
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#6
(02-08-2018, 11:57 PM)MyCupOverFlows Wrote: Interesting article. Women definitely have their place. I do not even receive the Eucharist from anyone but the Priest. A lot has changed in a very short time. I find that many priest are very wishy-washy. For instance at my children's school, the women run everything. The female principal runs everything and many of the teachers are liberal. I could tell you some crazy stories concerning my encounters and butting of heads with some there. I feel like the Priest is sleeping. My husband gets turned off too- with many of the things that are happening.
Example: My family does not celebrate Halloween or the day of the dead a Hispanic
pagan ritual and the school allows this, my family is an oddity, I am told by the principal . One little boy in my youngest child's class dresses in girls clothes and paints his nails. At open house they had pictures up on the wall and he was dressed like a princess for Halloween and was wearing makeup. My daughter is taught one way in the faith then goes to school, which is Catholic and is left scratching her head. The priest there is young and honestly a bit feminine. When you bring up concerns,  they are brushed off. There is only one Catholic school in my tri-state area that does not celebrate Halloween, and the Priest insist on the traditional Catholic mass. He is old now and has gotten stern warnings from the local Bishop. The Priest at my children's school lets laity get involved in everything.

I also remember my husband was taken-a -back when the Priest who married us was promoting Islam and when my husband told him Christ is the way , the truth and the life, there is no other way to the Father except through Him, he stopped talking to my husband. I guess my point is..... this laity thing is not surprising, interesting but not surprising. Thank you for sharing this,  and God Bless!
My heart sincerely bleeds for you! I am a dinosaur and was in a 'Traditional' Catholic High School when Vatican II ended and the abuses began. My world went into a kind of vortex and my faith came under spiritual attack on all sides. The Nuns that taught us became something we didn't recognize, suddenly, one day, they came in without their habits and dressed in common fashion, poorly coordinated and with rather awful cosmetic choices as well...then the bad stuff started.

I see how you find yourself in such a conundrum as I was in. My only advise is to stand your ground. The souls of your children and you and your husband are at stake. You answer to only one person, Jesus, the Christ! In Him you will not fail, even though you may feel on the short end. That feeling comes from the enemy and he only deals that out when he is most desperate and you are most in the groove of True Faith in Him. Remember; Peter walked on water, but only sank in the waters when he took his eyes off Jesus and doubted.

Get in the habit of praying the The Rosary of the Seven Sorrows . Try to do so daily, perhaps as I do, when driving. It won't take long to get it down and the benefits of this prayer are amazing! I got my son to get in the habit and it has helped his situation with the Novis Ordo parish and school immensely. I will pray for you and your family. May Blessed Mary, Mother of Jesus, wrap you and your family in Her Veil of Motherly Protection!
One should have an open mind; open enough that things get in, but not so open that everything falls out
Art Bell
  
I don't need a good memory, because I always tell the truth.
Jessie Ventura

Its no wonder truth is stranger than fiction.
Fiction has to make sense
Mark Twain

All War is Deception
Gen. Sun

You don't have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.
C.S. Lewis

Political Correctness is Fascism pretending to be manners.
George Carlin

“In a time of deceit…truth is a revolutionary act”
George Orwell
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#7
Not in the Diocese of Lincoln! Except for an occasional female reader who sits off to the side, we have an all male Sanctuary, no acolettes and no blue haired EMHCs! Of course, the only EMHCs we have at all are Instituted Acolytes if they are needed.
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#8
(02-09-2018, 01:14 AM)Zedta Wrote:
(02-08-2018, 11:57 PM)MyCupOverFlows Wrote: Interesting article. Women definitely have their place. I do not even receive the Eucharist from anyone but the Priest. A lot has changed in a very short time. I find that many priest are very wishy-washy. For instance at my children's school, the women run everything. The female principal runs everything and many of the teachers are liberal. I could tell you some crazy stories concerning my encounters and butting of heads with some there. I feel like the Priest is sleeping. My husband gets turned off too- with many of the things that are happening.
Example: My family does not celebrate Halloween or the day of the dead a Hispanic
pagan ritual and the school allows this, my family is an oddity, I am told by the principal . One little boy in my youngest child's class dresses in girls clothes and paints his nails. At open house they had pictures up on the wall and he was dressed like a princess for Halloween and was wearing makeup. My daughter is taught one way in the faith then goes to school, which is Catholic and is left scratching her head. The priest there is young and honestly a bit feminine. When you bring up concerns,  they are brushed off. There is only one Catholic school in my tri-state area that does not celebrate Halloween, and the Priest insist on the traditional Catholic mass. He is old now and has gotten stern warnings from the local Bishop. The Priest at my children's school lets laity get involved in everything.

I also remember my husband was taken-a -back when the Priest who married us was promoting Islam and when my husband told him Christ is the way , the truth and the life, there is no other way to the Father except through Him, he stopped talking to my husband. I guess my point is..... this laity thing is not surprising, interesting but not surprising. Thank you for sharing this,  and God Bless!
My heart sincerely bleeds for you! I am a dinosaur and was in a 'Traditional' Catholic High School when Vatican II ended and the abuses began. My world went into a kind of vortex and my faith came under spiritual attack on all sides. The Nuns that taught us became something we didn't recognize, suddenly, one day, they came in without their habits and dressed in common fashion, poorly coordinated and with rather awful cosmetic choices as well...then the bad stuff started.

I see how you find yourself in such a conundrum as I was in. My only advise is to stand your ground. The souls of your children and you and your husband are at stake. You answer to only one person, Jesus, the Christ! In Him you will not fail, even though you may feel on the short end. That feeling comes from the enemy and he only deals that out when he is most desperate and you are most in the groove of True Faith in Him. Remember; Peter walked on water, but only sank in the waters when he took his eyes off Jesus and doubted.

Get in the habit of praying the The Rosary of the Seven Sorrows . Try to do so daily, perhaps as I do, when driving. It won't take long to get it down and the benefits of this prayer are amazing! I got my son to get in the habit and it has helped his situation with the Novis Ordo parish and school immensely. I will pray for you and your family. May Blessed Mary, Mother of Jesus, wrap you and your family in Her Veil of Motherly Protection!

Thank you for your advice, God Bless!
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#9
Take away the liturgical stuff that blurrs the line between priests and lay people and there is some merit to this. Let others handle the nitty-gritty operational and administrative stuff (and even things like distributing collected goods for charity) so bishops and priests can focus on the more direct cura animarum.  Ideally, the role would be carried out by deacons--it's why the Apostles originally instituted them (See Acts 6:1-4). 

In prior periods, the role of deacons was to deal with all the administrative and operational stuff so that bishops and priests could focus on the spiritual and the "ministry of the word" as the Apostles put it.  Of course, deacons then became a little too powerful (since they controlled all the property, etc.) and bishops ultimately took more direct responsibility for those back over.  Of course, as Fr. Simon notes in his History of the Hootenanny Mass, the craziness of the 1960s and 70s happened in part because many bishops were great real estate managers, but had less skill in the more spiritual areas.   

In general, I think it's good to free up time for bishops and priests to pray, preach, and sanctify more.
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#10
(02-09-2018, 10:39 AM)SaintSebastian Wrote: Take away the liturgical stuff that blurrs the line between priests and lay people and there is some merit to this. Let others handle the nitty-gritty operational and administrative stuff (and even things like distributing collected goods for charity) so bishops and priests can focus on the more direct cura animarum.  Ideally, the role would be carried out by deacons--it's why the Apostles originally instituted them (See Acts 6:1-4). 

In prior periods, the role of deacons was to deal with all the administrative and operational stuff so that bishops and priests could focus on the spiritual and the "ministry of the word" as the Apostles put it.  Of course, deacons then became a little too powerful (since they controlled all the property, etc.) and bishops ultimately took more direct responsibility for those back over.  Of course, as Fr. Simon notes in his History of the Hootenanny Mass, the craziness of the 1960s and 70s happened in part because many bishops were great real estate managers, but had less skill in the more spiritual areas.   

In general, I think it's good to free up time for bishops and priests to pray, preach, and sanctify more.

That is an interesting point you make. I think the issue is more with those who are chosen to do the administrative stuff as you say, are they themselves Holy? In these verses of acts those chosen were full of faith and of the Holy Spirit.And through the laying on of hands they were anointed for such duties. I think those who have a more wholesome embrace of life which is evident in their outward approach and practices is what seems to be missing. But I suppose if those who are in charge of the selections are Holy obedient to the Word then their selections will reflect that as well. Again interesting point and reflection on the Word. God Bless!
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