When a Voice of the Faithful member writes that a bishop’s reforms are weeding out VOTF members from Church leadership positions, am I supposed to be sorry about that? Amy Welborn blogs an op-ed by Paul Ginnetty about changes in the Diocese of Rockville Centre, NY, by Bishop William Murphy. Ginnetty writes that Bishop William Murphy is dismantling the pastoral ministry education structures that create VOTF zombies in the first place.
Morale across the diocese also has been tested by the recent heavy-handed edict reconfiguring the diocesan Pastoral Formation Institute, a respected training program for lay people most of whose 1,600 alumni went on to serve in parish ministries.
The administrative staffing has been drastically reduced from 33 to five, and the program dispersed among several parishes where clergy can be expected to exercise more control. It’s possible that the shakeup aims to eventually eliminate the Institute, which has produced the kind of empowered, theologically aware believers who also happen to gravitate toward Voice of the Faithful.
Pardon me if I shed no tears. “Empowered” and “theologically aware” are evidently euphemisms for taught to question and dissent from Church teachings. Ginnetty then complains that with Mass attendance dropping the diocese, Murphy shouldn’t be dismantling the structures in place. Or, it could be that those structures which have provided two generations of Catholics with faith-free, banal catechesis are partially to blame for those empty churches.
In contrast to Ginnetty, Amy has a prescription for examining the system and challenges those screaming about oppressive returns to a backward ecclesiology to prove it.
A prescription and a challenge
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