Letters > When the clergy’s clock is ticking

01 August 2014

When the clergy’s clock is ticking

It is interesting to compare the way parishes are run in different parts of the world. In South Korea, parish councils have been part of the parish structure for decades and it would be most unusual for a new parish priest to come in and simply abolish it, one reason being that he'd then have to do all the work in the parish by himself.

And as for "immoveable" priests, in my diocese a parish priest has a maximum of seven years in any one parish. So while the Korean parish priest certainly rules the roost, the people know that even if he's not changed sooner, he will be a little later.

The parish in which I am presently resident has had 18 parish priests over the past 52 years (average three years per pastor). The obvious disadvantage of this system is that the priest can become pastorally detached, as there is no long-term bonding with his parishioners.
Fr John L Sullivan OSA, Incheon, S Korea

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