Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of November 23, 1998
Acheson sees dangers in implementing plan
By GLEN ARGAN
Implementing the Faithful Into the Future report is not without its perils, says the man who drafted the blueprint for the future structure of parishes in the Edmonton Archdiocese.
"There are real dangers in this as it evolves," John Acheson told the WCR.
He believes that some parishes slated for consolidation may want to keep going by celebrating Liturgy of the Word with Communion on Sundays.
The report is clear in asserting that the Eucharist is the source and summit of Christian life and that a Communion service is not the Eucharist.
"The key to maintaining our belief in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist is the faithful and vibrant celebration of Sunday Eucharist," it states.
Linked with that concern is another - that people may stop attending Sunday Mass because they don't want to drive for half an hour.
Acheson said still another concern is that parishes slated for merger will try to recruit a retired priest to come and celebrate Sunday Mass.
The report suggests retired priests be requested to help "alleviate specific situations." But the initiative must come from the priests' personnel committee.
"Individual parishes should not recruit retired priests on their own," says the report. "The greater needs of the archdiocese must be served."
Underlying those perils is a belief singled out by Acheson: the failure to realize that Catholics' obligation is not to their parish so much as it is to the archdiocesan and universal Church.