I wrote a few days ago about the problem of clericalism. But of course the opposite problem is the heresy of congregationalism (remember the Protestant Reformation!)...and guess where it has come up most recently!
Back to the 1530s...
Yup folks, the latest in the St Mary's South Brisbane saga is the suggestion that St Mary's become a priestless parish!
Cathnews reports that:
"...St Mary's community spokeswoman Karyn Walsh says allowing the church to operate without a regular priest, a common situation in rural and regional parishes, could be one way forward. "If ever there was an opportunity for a church with visiting priests, this is it," she said. "We would welcome the opportunity to do that. There are plenty of people capable of leading this community without a priest and having priests visit."
Yes well I guess if you don't care if your sacraments are valid, you probably don't actually need a priest!
And if you want a Church that lets you believe and do anything you like, then the last thing you want is a priest that actually takes his offices of teaching, sanctifying and ruling seriously.
It is also true that more than a few Australian bishops seem quite committed to the idea of lay-led parishes, investing their effort into vast consultations and other devices to make it happen rather than say setting up an (orthodox) diocesan seminary, and seriously promoting vocations.
But oh dear! How many times does the Church have to refute this as a false direction?
Anyway, it is hoped that the promised mediation will start this week, so watch and see what emerges...
On a more positive note, could it be that Cathnews is finally starting to get its act together? It is only one day I know, but first their daily email arrived in my inbox early, before 7am, rather than doing its usual mid-morning meander.
And its selections were mostly positive (and important) stories, and those that weren't (like the St Mary's one) were actually balanced! I guess the Coo-ees' (whoever they may be!) tart comments on Cathnews' recent tenth anniversary may have had an impact...assuming of course that this was not just a momentary aberration!