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Monday, April 15, 2013

The Laity?

I came across this article regarding the role of the laity in the Vatican.  Obviously, I have some thoughts on it, but my thoughts have to do with something I have been advocating for years, since my days in college.

Cardinal Pell has said;
Professional men and women with expertise in areas such as finance, for example, could have a lot to offer in overseeing some Vatican departments, perhaps under the leadership of a cardinal.
This is a vocational issue.  I have long advocated (as a way to bolster vocations to the priesthood) that men either minor or double major in Philosophy and Business or some Business related degrees.  If priests would also hold professional degrees, I firmly believe that the priesthood would be more attractive to men who have talents for math, science, business, marketing, and the like.  There is no reason why we must come to rely on the laity and why the priesthood should be pigeon-holed into academic degrees only.

I fully understand and support what the PRIMARY functions of priests are, namely, to pray, to provide the sacraments and to pastor.  Those are all very important (vitally, IMHO), but there can be room in the life of the priest to have the knowledge to run a business.  We have long been sending men to get JCDs, why can't we also send men to MBAs?

I do believe that if we encouraged this mode of action, an interdisciplinary mode of being with regard to academic formation, the Church would be in a much better place and the running of the Church can remain in the hands of those who are supposed to be running it.  In thinking of it another way, many pastors today run parishes with budgets which range from $300,000 to $1-5 million +.   It would be very beneficial for these men to have finance or business backgrounds.

Even moreso, though, I do believe that there are a good number of men today who are interested in the priesthood who pass it by, because they think that they can "do better" with a professional degree.  I think that if diocese's would pay closer attention to this, there would be more vocations and there would be better run parishes, dioceses and the Church at large.  And we wouldn't have to explore the use of the laity.  They should not be burdened with running the Church, but rather, they should simply let the Church be managed by those who are supposed to manage it.

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