Let’s think outside the rectory
The critical lack of priests is making the Eucharist an endangered species. It's time to consider a new kind of ministry among God's people, says this bishop.
By Bishop Fritz Lobinger, the retired bishop of Aliwal, South Africa
"Mmusong is a small but vibrant Catholic community of about 700 high in the mountains of South Africa. On Sundays the simple church building is full, but most of the time not for Mass, only for a service of the Word. Mass is something rare in Mmusong. The priest of the distant parish center serves nine communities, and he is able to celebrate Mass in Mmusong only once a month..."
"Ordaining proven local leaders could thus be the starting point for a solution. Because the majority of proven local leaders are women, it is unavoidable that the question of their inclusion among ordained elders will arise, though present church law does not permit it. .."