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Orthodoxy through another perspective
06-04-2010, 09:07 AM
Post: #12
 
As ever, Fr. Gregory, you offer us that rare thing - an opportunity to think; indeed you are offering a challenge to action too.

After all, the process you describe is a two-way one. We don't end up with 'men in black' and the situation you describe by accident. I wonder how often priests end up doing all the other things you describe because the laity can't be bothered to do them?

I've had a prolonged period of being unable to drive (and do much typing - some may be grateful for the latter!), and during that time I have been going to the two CHalcedonian Churches in town as a guest. In the one, the Anglican, as it happens, there is a rector who is very much in charge of everything, one of the effects of which is that everything tends to fall on his shoulders; if he doesn't do it, it does not get done. I know one of the Church Wardens well, and she'd be quite happy to do more but, as she puts it: 'he doesn't want help, he wants his own way.'

The Catholic chapel is, perhaps oddly enough given popular perception, the other way around. The priest, a Benedictine monk who has spent 40 years in a monastery and is spending some time in his first parish in his 60s, is a delightful man of great spirituality, and can scarcely boil an egg, let alone run a parish. Does this matter, not at all. The laity are extremely active and do all that is needful on the administrsative and financial side. The priest does what only he can do. But, talking to him recently, he uttered the first complaint I've heard him make, which was that in his other Church, everyone seemed to expect him to do everything!

So, the laity, which has played its part in allowing the situation you dscribe so accurately, must also be willing to play its part in creating a more balanced situation. If it doesn't, then the priest finds himself having to do it all, even if that is not his natural instinct.

Many, perhaps most of us, have backgrounds in other Churches and thus experience of how they have tried to adapt to the times; one hopes that we might learn from what has not worked, as well as examine what has.

Knowing some of the people at both Churches in town well, but not having interacted with them both, I was much struck by the fact that in both there were strong groups of people (usually my age or a bit older) who were vehement against either 'the Alternative Service books' or the 'wretched reforms of vatican II'; there were also, in both Churches, groups of people who got on with service in the community and trying their best to live a Christian life; sometimes there was even an overlap between the two.

There is no easy answer to your challenging remarks; there is an easy option though - ignore them and pretend the Holy Spirit can do it without our being His tools.

In Christ,

John

In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10)
Quote


Messages In This Thread
The Church of the Imagination - Rick Henry - 01-04-2010, 08:11 PM
[] - John Charmley - 01-04-2010, 09:21 PM
[] - Fr Gregory - 02-04-2010, 02:52 AM
[] - John Charmley - 02-04-2010, 08:04 AM
[] - John Charmley - 02-04-2010, 10:12 AM
[] - Rick Henry - 03-04-2010, 11:50 PM
[] - John Charmley - 04-04-2010, 09:12 AM
[] - Rick Henry - 05-04-2010, 03:46 PM
[] - John Charmley - 05-04-2010, 06:16 PM
[] - Fr Gregory - 06-04-2010, 05:32 AM
[] - John Charmley - 06-04-2010 09:07 AM
[] - Simon - 06-04-2010, 12:48 PM
[] - John Charmley - 06-04-2010, 01:18 PM
On Playing Our Part - Rick Henry - 06-04-2010, 04:03 PM
[] - John Charmley - 06-04-2010, 04:31 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 06-04-2010, 05:09 PM
[] - John Charmley - 07-04-2010, 01:14 PM
[] - Simon - 07-04-2010, 01:27 PM
[] - admin - 07-04-2010, 01:41 PM
[] - John Charmley - 07-04-2010, 02:12 PM
[] - Antony-Paul - 07-04-2010, 08:15 PM
[] - John Charmley - 07-04-2010, 10:06 PM
[] - admin - 08-04-2010, 09:01 AM
[] - John Charmley - 08-04-2010, 11:06 AM
[] - Rick Henry - 08-04-2010, 01:20 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 08-04-2010, 01:38 PM
[] - admin - 08-04-2010, 04:24 PM
[] - Rick Henry - 09-04-2010, 11:35 AM
[] - Antony-Paul - 09-04-2010, 04:34 PM
St. James? service - James-Antony - 09-04-2010, 09:04 PM
[] - admin - 10-04-2010, 12:26 PM
[] - Simon - 10-04-2010, 04:46 PM
[] - Fr Gregory - 11-04-2010, 06:31 AM
[] - John Charmley - 12-04-2010, 05:11 PM



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