- Wanted: a shepherd for the Windy City
One of the most important sees in the United States, Chicago, has to be filled, after Cardinal Francis George declared his wish to resign on the grounds of age and ill-health
- Home News
- World News
- Parish Practice
- Letters Extra
- The living Spirit
- Hundreds march to demand Government action on cleansing of northern Iraq's Christians
- Five die in attack after makeshift bomb thrown into Catholic church in Nigerian city of Kano
- Head of London Oratory rejects charge of white middle-class bias in admissions policy
- Catholic author Stratford Caldecott to be buried alongside Tolkien who inspired his conversion
The question of the so-called shortage of priests, as with other issues presented to us, can be approached by seeking immediate and short-term solutions. This, I believe, would entail “managing decline”, whereas what we are facing is something long-term and systemic and therefore more to do with ongoing conversion than tinkering with an ailing machine. The division of the Church into a dominant clerical Church over/against a second-class lay Church can no longer be sustained.
Regarding our basic parish communities I believe the effort to maintain our smaller communities is in the short term, very worthwhile and possible with greater preparation of leadership in these communities: the Church is after all a community of faith. In the long term, however, we have to look at the whole governance of the Church, often seen as written in stone, but far from it if we study our own history. The lack of persons in the community deputed to lead us in the celebration of the Eucharist has gone on far too long and is an unnecessary scandal, but also a symptom, not the heart, of the challenge we face.
Canon JG Koenig, Kettering, Northants