Well it does to the people who post here... dispassionate and reasoned debate, with a good deal of humour thrown in for good measure.

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Parish / Diocese: Westminster cathedral
Location: London


Post by organist » Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:48 am

I often go to daily Mass and the parish has 2 priests. One of them has been seriously ill and still walks very slowly and has difficulty climbing steps into the pulpit (which he still insists on doing!)
The same person reads every day and there are a variety of people who serve. This week the reader was away. On one day a lady from the congregation read. On 2 days the priest did all the readings. Today both priests were present so one read and then they concelebrated.
How does one politely suggest that a rota of readers might be started so that the laity are not deprived of their role? :)
Why does the priest not come and ask somebody else to read?
I rather suspect that this parish suffers because people do not feel encouraged to volunteer for anything e.g. Easter vigil with no MC and one server, appeal for readers on Sundays in newsletter (I wonder what response they got?) There appear to be quite a few ministers of the Eucharist. Many of those I have spoken to used to be in a choir - what happened to that? :(
There is coffee once a week after Mass and I have been to that quite a few times and met people but I don't think the people are that friendly to a stranger. How can that be changed? It amuses me that everybody sits in the same place every day but one to a pew so result is the Peace is a lot of waving at each other with a few handshakes. Rope off the back pews I say!! :D

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Parish / Diocese: Clifton Diocese
Location: Glos

Re: Clericalism?

Post by VML » Sat Jul 21, 2018 8:04 pm

This is a fascinating post. We were in a similar situation in 1970s, not with daily Mass, but Sundays, with one priest and three Masses, there was one reader for each Mass, for years. And we had many years of the Triduum without music. I was a young mother with little confidence to 'interfere' then.
It took a change of PP, with a new man who was quietly dynamic, in 1984 for progress to be made.
So, with your current situation, I can only suggest some kind of gentle questioning, preceded by prayers to the Holy Spirit for courage and wisdom. I have family members who are finding working with Ordinariate priests extremely difficult. Things get changed without consultation or warning. I hope you can make a difference.

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Re: Clericalism?

Post by JW » Sun Jul 22, 2018 6:41 pm

Huge subject this, but some (not all) ordained ministers see themselves as a class apart, with authority from On High. So they will manage their parishes and liturgies with minimal involvement from the laity. And many laity (I include myself) disregard vast areas of Church Teaching anyway as being just wrong or irrelevant. (How many of us eat meat on Friday or believe in and properly understand the doctrine of Original Sin?). And many lay people have given up and gone elsewhere or nowhere. Add to this the issue of child abuse, which is likely to be more extensive than reported. Priests ignore instructions from bishops and the laity are often not consulted. Even the Pope's efforts to reform the Church meet with strong opposition. Add to this the fact that it is Church Teaching that women cannot be ordained and therefore cannot exercise clerical authority in the Church, thus relegating women to an inferior species of humanity.

Compare our situation today with the vision of V2 which made provision for parish councils and defined the priesthood, prophethood and kingship of all the laity.

Something's going on, something so radical that the future Church is something that will be so different to what we have now. Sadly, I suspect that the traditional priesthood has strayed so far into a cul-de-sac that it may be doomed to failure. New wine isn't for old wineskins.

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Re: Clericalism?

Post by alan29 » Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:20 pm

Parishes get stuck. It takes a lot of effort to bring life to a parish. Most of the laity seem to expect the priests to do it, and many of them have just given up hope and are ticking over. And of course there are priests who are so unsure of their own role that they keep the laity "in their place" and put up a barricade around themselves to maintain a difference in status.
I think it is poshing it up to call it clericalism. I think it is more akin to inertia and a profound lack of the three theological virtues - faith, hope, and love. But in this case the greatest is hope since it is the one most needed.
I wish I had the answer. I don't.

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Re: Clericalism?

Post by oopsorganist » Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:26 pm

Faith, hope and social support?
uh oh!

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Parish / Diocese: Arundel and Brighton

Re: Clericalism?

Post by Becky » Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:20 pm

This is worth exploring:

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Re: Clericalism?

Post by alan29 » Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:46 am

oopsorganist wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:26 pm
Faith, hope and social support?
Indeed. That is something the bishop should be organising for his priests - even more so, now that numbers are declining and they become more isolated.
And of course a half-decent parish will have the kind of relationship with their priests that is mutually enriching, stimulating and supportive, seems rare, though.

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Re: Clericalism?

Post by Southern Comfort » Wed Jul 25, 2018 4:40 pm

Becky wrote:
Mon Jul 23, 2018 11:20 pm
This is worth exploring:
Divine Renovation seems to work well in those cases where the priest wants to move on, not if he doesn't.

Be aware that, like other programs from across the Pond, this one plugs Praise and Worship music to the exclusion of all else. They seem to think that this often lively style is the only thing that can get a parish going.

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