Pope wants to hear from laity not just bishops and priests

Pope Francis wants the laity to be much more involved in the administration of the Church in Rome, not just priests and bishops.

According to Bishop Kevin Farrell, who is the first prefect of the newly created Vatican Department for the Laity, the Family and Life, the Roman Curia, Francis would like to see lay people in more prominent positions and has laid out Farrell’s role for his new position, which he begins in October.

Farrell also said that Francis wants him to open up channels of communication and consultation with Catholic laity.

“I hear from all these consultative bodies I have here in the Vatican, but I’d like to hear from the lay people too!” he quoted the pope as saying.

Farrell spoke last Monday on “The Crux of the Matter,” a radio show based on Crux’s reporting carried by the Catholic Channel, Sirius XM 129, every Monday. The following are excerpts from that interview.

Did you get any heads-up you were under consideration?

No, I had absolutely no idea. I go to Rome regularly, I have a brother who lives there [Bishop Brian Farrell, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity], and he’s spent his whole life there. I would go, I would complain to him about the bureaucracy in the Vatican, and nobody ever suggested this, or even talked to me about it.

How did you learn this was going to happen?

One day in May, my secretary walked into my office, because I didn’t answer the phone, and she said the pope is on the telephone. I said, ‘Yeah, sure … probably one of my bishop or priest friends just calling up imitating the pope.’ It actually was the pope himself. I got onto the phone, and he talked to me …



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