Friday, October 1, 2010

Boston archdiocese disputes fewer parishes planned/What if women priests could staff these parishes?


..."The parishioners say chancellor James McDonough told them in a meeting that the archdiocese is aiming to downsize to 150 parishes. But McDonough on Friday denied saying that and added, "We are not looking to close churches."

"The archdiocese has already endured a brutal round of church closings after a reconfiguration that began in 2004 and reduced the number of parishes from 357 to 291. Five churches have since been occupied by parishioners who protested the closures by refusing to leave the buildings."

"On Friday, McDonough said in a statement that he was asked about future closings at the meeting. He said he responded that one-third of the parishes are losing money and a third are at a break-even point and feeling financial pressure. He said he also explained that only 17 percent of Catholics in the archdiocese attend Mass and "that in 10 years there would only be approximately 150 priests available."

Bridget Mary's Reflection:
What if women from these communities were called to serve as priests? What if married priests who have left are willing to serve these communities? What if the people in these parishes take their rightful role as a community of believers and continue to function as Catholic Communities and call forth their own priests, married or celibate, male or female?
Then instead of decline and closings, we could witness new life and mutual ministry in vibrant Catholic Communities . A new day for our church is on the women in your communities to serve as priests. It is time.


Mike said...

And this solves the money woes HOW?

Oh yes, more people would go to church if there were women priests! Of course there is no proof. In fact, the more progressive parishes tend to perform the worst, at least in western NY.

The Catholic Apologist said...

Hi Mike.

In answer to your question some self righteously indignant person would reply something along the lines of "Oh, it's all about money isn't it? That is the Catholic Church for you. Always worried about money." They might try to make the statement more pious with "The Church isn't a business. The Church is about the people, not money."

That would be my guess as to how someone might reply to you, and of course the reply would be total and complete nonsense. Of course the Church is the people, and of course the Church is not in the business of making money, but becasue it has bills to pay, it like everyone else must worry about the bottom line.

In any case, Bridget Mary knows full well the Church's teaching regarding women's ordination, and therefore knows full well why what she suggests is not a a real solution. But that do not stop her from suggesting it- as though it were novel, as though it were something that could actually be considered. Denial ain't just a river in egypt. She suggests this as though no one has ever considered it; as though it were a novel solution.

As for the people who refuse to leave the parishes- I have often wondered why the archdiocese is allowing that. I think it has reached the point to call the police and have the people arrested. I realize that sounds cruel- but one has to keep in mind that the churches have no hope of re-opening. Allowing the people to stay enables their denial and inhibits the grief process. The diocese still has to pay for upkeep for parishes that are not going to re-open. Seconldy there are liability issues. If the people get hurt, the Diocese is still responsible and therefore opens themselves up for lawsuits. This has been going on for years, I think the Diocese has beenn more then "pastoral" with the people. The time for "pastoral sensitivity" it seems to me has ended.

But- that is just my opinion. Each person who is called to pastor must make pastoral judgments they think best for their people. Obviously the archdiocese is trying their best to allow this to resolve in the most peaceful manner. Nothing wrong with that- but how much longer is this going to be allowed to go on? Eventually the people are going to have to face the fact that their parish is gone and isn't comming back.

Ravensbarque said...

Apologist --

You do not have a clue. I strongly suspect that if YOU were running the church, you would be the only member.

The Catholic Apologist said...


Okay, I don't have a clue. Can you be more specific? I don't mind if you don't agree, but can you please at least tell me WHAT in particular you disagree with?

1) Do you disagree that it takes money to run a Church- and when money is in short supply dioceses have to either increase revenue, or adjust the parish structure if they cannot?

2) Do you disagree that the Church teaches women are not called to Holy Orders, and therefore ordaining women is not a viable option? (Mike's point was that even IF women were ordained----there is still the problem of FINANCE.)

3) Churches that are closed---with no hope of re-opening---obvioulsy you don't like it when dioceses close parishes. Fine. Tell me- what are your solutions to the following: lack of financial support, older and greying congregations, and vocations shortages.

It seems to me the top problem is finance, which is related to shrinking congregations. I actually agree that a parish CAN (if absolutely necessary run without a priest. This is not desirable, but is possible) I would like to hear your suggestions on how to solve the financial problems. You can run a parish without a priest, you can even run a parish with a small congretation, but you cannot run a parish without money.

What say you? (And don't just repeat that I don't have a clue)