Monday, March 16, 2009

Signs of Lay Catholics Getting Sick of Status Quo

In Connecticuit last week, a bill was killed in the state legislature's judiciary committee that would have revised the way in which a Roman Catholic parish is organized. The proposed provisions would effectively give control of parish finances over to the laity and allow the priest and bishop only an advisory role. Quite the reversal from the way things are now!

There are a number of issues here. One, this has been done before. In the 18th century it was common to prohibit bishops from control of parish property which lead to the necessity for parish trustees. A big problem with those laws and this proposed law is that it is only focussed on Catholics.

The other side of this is that in this situation it was a group of Catholics that wanted this legislation, not discriminating Protestants. I do not know if this group of Catholics actually thought that this bill would become law or if they were trying to send a message to the bishops of the United States. I think that that message is this: "Bishops and priests have too much control over church finances and we do not trust you. WE NEED FINANCIAL REFORM!" I think the bill, if passed into law, would have created a whole new set of problems, but I think the message is appropriate. And of course, financial reform is not possible without ecclesial reform.
Sex abuse, parish finances and misspending... Perhaps these crucifixions will lead us to a new Church.

A Faithful Catholic

1 comment:

CatholicSoldier said...

You are really missing the full story again, just like on the stem cells. The story was being pushed by pro-gay groups in Conn. It was a closeted attempt to separate parishes from the Bishop in order to induce some parishes to fully break away from the Church and embrace all sorts of Heresy.

Francis Cardinal George and I (along with 20 other people) had a conversation about this very possibility. He envisioned it slowly happening and resulting in an underground Catholic Church (the Church loyal to Rome and the Teachings of the Apostles) and an American Catholic Church (which has embraced numerous heresies).

It may make sense from a financial point of view, but the theological ramifications, and the underlying motive are truly terrifying.