October 7, 2013

The archdiocese has recently posted the reassignment of priests to a few parishes replacing vacancies due to resignation and/or for health reasons.

How few priests there are! How have we contributed to their decisions? Did we support or oppose them?

I have experienced this persecution in other dioceses as well over the past years. Good holy men are driven away by those who feel that it is the parish council that runs the parish. That is not true.

The Church is not a democracy and the pastor is appointed to shepherd the parish. He is entitled to the respect and honour due to the bishop and that is the same as the faith and obedience owed to Christ; for where the bishop is there is the Catholic Church.

Many times people seek positions of authority in order to put forward their own agenda, hoping to conform the Church to their way of living rather than conforming themselves to the teachings of the Church.

They exercise their power through letters and complaints to the bishop with implied threats to withdraw or withhold financial support.

Other parishioners not on the council act in a like manner but it is apparent that council members holding their position longer than two years are most likely to consider themselves in control of the parish.

It is a disgrace that amid some very beautiful and devout parishes there lies a core of hardened hearts that work to oppose the faithful efforts of their pastors. Please, Google an article by George Jonas called "The Church isn't a Democracy".

Then examine yourself and do what you know is right. Speak out and support your deacons, priests and bishop.

Bill Lavelle
Stony Plain