Thursday, December 1, 2011

Changes Coming In The Archdiocese of Boston

Some of the local Boston MA media outlets have a report of the Archdiocese of Boston announcing a new reorganization plan for the Catholic parishes; among them WBZ, Channel 4.

According to the reports, the local parishes will be organized into collaborative groups, sharing resources and staff, under one pastor. Redundant staff members could be laid off, and theoretically the group could decide to close a church to conserve resources.

Members of the Council of Parishes, an organization dedicated to preventing the closing of parishes, has already denounced the plan. They claim that the implementation of this reorganization could lead to the closing of hundreds of parishes. Some are accusing Cardinal Sean O’Malley of defying the Vatican, which recently prevented a local diocese from closing church buildings.

First, the exact details of the plan have not been released. Priests of the Archdiocese are to be briefed next week, and then the laity. Second, we cannot continue the same path we have been, hoping to keep all parishes opened, all parishes independent. The Catholic Church in Boston does not have the finances or the clergy to do that. This challenging situation requires thinking outside the box, new solutions. The experience of Catholic community must never remain static, but evolves in response to changing times. As long as the local communities, whatever their makeup, their shape, are united with their bishop, the Catholic Church lives.

I hope I can keep myself open to these changes, that the Holy Spirit will help me see the Father’s will in what is about to happen. And that I always remember that, no matter where we are, what community I eventually belong to, we are all united in the Body of Christ.

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