Priests are shepherds, not bosses

Cardinal Gérald Cyprien Lacroix of Quebec has stated that pastors should help their people grow in a relationship with Jesus as shepherds, not be their bosses.

Lacroix was speaking at a press conference previewing a three-day Vatican meeting on how to improve collaboration among laypeople, priests and bishops.

Lacroix wants priests to recognise that laypeople are not there at their service.

“We are there together at the service of the Church,” he said.

Lacroix said priests should invite laypeople into parish activities and programmes, but they should also ask how they can support parishioners where they already are.

He said that people’s ordinary everyday lives is the stuff of holiness, and he wants priests to support them in their lives.

“What is our role as priests and bishops in this beautiful adventure?” he asked.

“Well, our main role is to be pastors. We’re not managers; we’re not the boss: We’re pastors, shepherds.”

Lacroix stated that the Church needs “better formation, better awareness and a lot of work” to bring his vision to fruition.

He recalled a time before he was a cleric when he gave this advice to pastors: “Resist inviting us to come into your things. Recognise that some of us are in school, some of us are in our profession, and we need to be good disciples there.”

The event is titled “Pastors and Lay Faithful Called to Walk Together,” and is organised by the Vatican’s Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, headed by Cardinal Kevin Farrell.

“The laity have a lot more to offer than a mere function they can perform.”

“It is very important that we do not reduce the role of the laity in the Church to a mere functional participation or a mere functional involvement”.

“The laity are not just to take up the collection at the Sunday Mass. They are to do much more”, said Farrell.

He explained that the laity’s responsibility to the Church demands “a change of heart, a change of attitude”.

Farrell stated that “we must go to a much deeper understanding of what it means to be co-responsible for the life of the Church.” This understanding requires “a lot of work”.

Farrell emphasised that “as baptised Catholics, we are all responsible for the Church”.

When Christ said, “Go baptise in the name of the Lord. Go preach the word of God to the ends of the earth”, he was speaking to everybody, not just priests.


Catholic News Agency

The Dialog


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