Church and laity

I would like to give you two reactions to your article of November 5 “In the Church, the laity in power”. Referring to the question of this power, without having read the article yet, I was told by a friend that the term power was not adequate to speak of the Church. Taking the time to think about it, I told myself that she was right. First, it is immediately associated with that of abuse. Then, is it not contradictory with service? As Father Varillon (sj) said, the omnipotence of God is only the omnipotence of love. We should therefore proscribe the word power. Moreover, the SauvĂ© report does not use it in its recommendation no.36, which is the subject of the article, but speaks of “To strengthen the presence of the laity … in the decision-making spheres of the Church”. The second reaction concerns the object of exercising this presence, never mentioned in the article. Defining it would clarify if not calm the debate on the presence of lay people. One cannot imagine, for example, that the pastoral orientations of a parish would not be the object of a broad consultation. Rather, the problem would be that too often there is no truly defined or up-to-date guidance. In the field, for the exercise of services, we would progress a lot, before knowing who appoints whom, if the mandates were limited and defined, which is rarely the case. It is not a question of “power”, but of rules which should be universal.

Eric Beugnot


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