It looks like the so-called Council of Parishes, lobbyists for parish closing protesters in Boston, is the new go-to guy for dissenting views on Catholic issues. This time it’s the working document for the Eucharistic synod in October. The problem is that these people don’t have any idea what they’re talking about.

Peter Borre, a member of the Council of Parishes, a local lay group, criticized portions of the document as “disappointing but not surprising.”

“It notes the decline in Mass attendance and the shortage of priests, yet it relegates lay people to a ‘minimal’ presence in Masses,” Borre said. “How will they get Mass attendance up if they lack the people - clergy and laity - for the Masses?”

Why is it disappointing? Because it calls for greater participation in the Mass and adherence to the Church’s teachings?

And he misunderstands the reference to laity and “minimal” in relation to the Mass. Of course the document is not saying that there should be a “minimal” presences of lay people at Masses. It’s saying that priests are the ministers of the sacrament and that lay people should only do that which is necessary for them to do, and not look for ways to expand their role in celebrating the Mass at the expense of the role of the clergy.

Just because of bunch of people set themselves up as a pressure/lobby group within the Church does not make them automatically qualified as an authority to speak on all things Catholic.

  • Of course a huge part of the problem is that ‘active participation’ is taken by the progressives as ‘having a job on the altar’ or ‘helping run the parish’ or ‘heading up a made up ministry’—- and if one is joyful in remaining in the pews as regular active worshippers, that isn’t considered ‘active participation’, regardless of what any document from the Vatican clarifies.

    If ‘active participation’ in the way Peter Borre means is the way to attract Catholics to attend Mass, why are the numbers of active Catholics so low when Mr. Borre’s method has been implemented in dioceses and parishes over the past 40 years?

    Part of the problem is the ‘parallel clergy’ that has been created in parishes… it is off putting and closed to the majority of other parishioners, particularly when there is a strong secular personality at the helm of these ministries.