Pope John Paul spoke to the Congregation for the Clergy on Saturday. The topic was the role of pastors. He said pastors “must be recognized as shepherds of their flocks, not as mere administrators or partners with the laity.” He said that “Church structure cannot be conceived as simply human political models.” Hey, Voice of the Faithful, are you listening?
He added that a pastor is not merely a bureaucrat who carries out his bishop’s orders or a mere collaborator who is expected to yield his authority to lay people in his flock.
Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos then added the following:
“The faithful speak in the name of the Spirit, with the strength of Baptism and Confirmation,” he remarked. “But the charism of government, to exercise the discernment between good and evil spirits, is exclusively the role of the bishop or the pastor.”
At least the folks at VOTF can rest assured that the Vatican is hearing their calls for structural change, i.e. dumbing down the role of the clergy, making them indistinguishable from the laity. It’s just that the Vatican’s response isn’t the one they were looking for.