Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Priests? We don’t need no stinkin’ priests!

November 18th, 2010, Promulgated by b a

As has been reported many times, one of the larger parishes in the area, Saint Pius X in Chili, is led by a lay pastoral administrator, Bill Rabjohn (a great guy who is otherwise orthodox in doctrine). I believe the priest of the parish has the title of “assisting priest”, but if you check out the staff page on their website, you won’t find any priests. Not only is he not the head of the parish, he doesn’t even make it onto the staff’s web page.

And just so anyone doesn’t get confused that our lay administrators are merely helping priests with administrative duties, let’s see what Mr. Rabjohn has to say about his duties:

A pastoral administrator is the bishop’s appointed leader and public face of the parish who oversees all the aspects of the life of the community: pastoral, spiritual, and temporal. I am responsible for the spiritual life of the community, the faith formation of all its members, all the ministries, our liturgy, all the social events, and I am the trustee and secretary of all the material goods of the community. In short, I am responsible for all the pastoral care of our parishioners and for spreading
the Gospel and living our Catholic traditions within our parish boundaries.

Let’s contrast this with Ecclesiae de Mysterio

It is unlawful for the non-ordained faithful to assume titles such as “pastor”, “chaplain”, “coordinator”, ” moderator” or other such similar titles which can confuse their role and that of the Pastor, who is always a Bishop or Priest.

It’s only natural to conclude that this is more about ideology and less about priest shortages because as I mentioned SPX is one of the larger parishes in the area. If lay pastoral administrators were merely an emergency technique, wouldn’t you start with the smallest parishes?

For further research into this subject, see Dr K’s reviews of Bishop Clark’s book (links collected here).


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9 Responses to “Priests? We don’t need no stinkin’ priests!”

  1. Dr. K says:

    To forget to list the parish priest is an outrageous omission.

  2. Dr. K says:

    If lay pastoral administrators were merely an emergency technique, wouldn’t you start with the smallest parishes?

    Take it a step further — if lay pastoral administrators were an emergency technique, wouldn’t you start with deacon administrators first? Or a partnership of priests before that? That seems to be what the Church, through Ecclesiae de mysterio, prefers.

    From the document: “In any event, the preference which this canon gives to deacons cannot be overlooked.”

    How easily the DoR has overlooked this.

  3. Faithful says:

    The said thing is that this is a very Protestant model- the lay person runs everything and the priest is reduced to a figure head- someone who runs worship, but has no real say or authority in the formation of the community.

    However great the lay person is, it is not his or her place to “Form” a community and provide for their pastoral care. That is for a priest. This means the “assisting priest” or “Sacramental Minister” should be guiding the lay person in how he impliments things in the parish. No decisions on matters of spiritual formation should be made without consulting the priest, and his approval.

    The role of a lay administrator is to sign checks and worry about the leaky roof, it is not within their role to form a parish community or provide for their pastoral care. If times are really bad and a priest is not avaliable much of the time, the role of the lay administrator is to ASSIST the priest with HIS pastoral care of the community. In other words they take direction from the priest, not the other way around. Whether they have a theology degree is irrelavent.

    Indeed, the fact that they do not even list the “assisting” priest as part of the staff is an ommission which says it all! “Assisting Priest” is also a bad title. A priest does not “assist” the lay people with anything! If anything they assist him! If the Diocese must have this model the title should be something along the lines of “Chaplain” a title which implies pastoral governance and oversight.

  4. Faithful says:

    This whole thing is just sickening. It is a Clericalization of the laity and a laicization of the clergy. It is Satan distorting the vocation of the laity and confusing it with that of the priest, and visa versa.

    Why are priests (your diocese) all excited about making themselves more and more irrelavent?

  5. Dr. K says:

    How long before we start hiring and firing priests like many Protestant denominations?

  6. Louis E. says:

    Has anyone given the Nuncio a gift subscription to this parish bulletin?

  7. Anonymous says:

    I really have problems with pictures of the laity on these bulletins. And announcing all the readers, Eucharistic ministers etc at Mass. Blowing their horns, as it goes, says they have their reward on earth at mass. What about selfless service? This whole mess is about only one person…….THEMSELVES. And blowing their own horn with a lot of hot air!

  8. benanderson says:

    @anon – your comment was deleted by another staff member most likely because it attacked me and my motives and because you provided private information not intended to be released on the Internet. Nevertheless, I will address some of your points.

    It’s my understanding that Ben Anderson, the author of this article, was the original webmaster for St. Pius the Tenth.

    sure – that’s not a secret I’m trying to hide or anything. I’ve mentioned it before.

    Could he be writing this out of frustration that his work has been replaced with a new website more than what is in the website?

    You can question my motives all you want. I’ll say I’m motivated by love of God and you’ll say I’m motivated by disordered human desires (sin). That’s an argument neither of us can win and is thus futile. That’s why we keep things on the objective level and don’t get into subjective speculations about a person’s inner motives.

    Could the information for the Priest not be developed yet because he’s …

    We’ve deleted the details you provided because it’s a private matter. For those following along at home, anon provided the reason that the priest’s bio was excluded from the staff page. However, this information only explains away one symptom (the omission of a priest on the website) of a larger illness (lack of a priest-pastor at spx) which still remains unaddressed. If you’d like to address that issue, feel free to – I’m all ears.

    Could Cleansing Fire just be an inflammatory blog – not cleansing anything just burning with wrath (a mortal sin coupled with a sin against justice and the sin of sedition and the sin of leading others astray)?

    Again – please address specific issues. Generalized, sweeping statements like this aren’t going to help us get anywhere. If you’d like to dig deeper, please pick one specific post that you’re upset about and perhaps we can drill into it a little and see if we can get to the heart of the matter. If you wish to do this, please pick one of my posts so I can defend (or rescind) my own words. If you’d like to argue against this post, please do so, but you’re quite lacking in your initial attack. I re-read this post and the only non-fact I offer was this assertion, “It’s only natural to conclude that this is more about ideology and less about priest shortages because as I mentioned SPX is one of the larger parishes in the area. If lay pastoral administrators were merely an emergency technique, wouldn’t you start with the smallest parishes?” Would you like to provide a rebuttal to that assertion?

    Know the facts before setting things on fire

    ok, sure. That’s exactly what we do here. For too long diocesan leaders have pulled the wool over peoples’ eyes by using words like love, tolerance, and inclusivity to mask their radical progressive agenda. I don’t believe I’ve presented anything but facts. When I offer opinion or speculation, I do my best to make that explicit.

  9. Anon. says:

    It is very frustrating to have lost our priest to illness. It is also sad that his name was not listed with the staff, as he is still assigned to our parish. As a large and vibrant parish we are suffering from the diocean shortage of priests. Please pray for our community and for vocations! Invective and rherotic are not helpful, prayer is! God bless you!

    A friend of St Pius X Parish

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