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Sunday, June 12, 2005

Why the Catholic Church needs empowered laypeople.

What Archbishop O'Malley should be learning this weekend: If your people live in a democratic society and you don't give them a voice within the church's decision-making process, they're eventually going to find other ways to make their desires known.

Even if closing Our Lady of the Presentation School makes sense from every institutional standpoint, no one is on the archbishop's side after he prematurely cancelled the last two days of classes and the graduation ceremonies. What did the archbishop get for his heavy-handed decision? Nothing: He's meeting with the parents tomorrow and has said he'll even reconsider their offer to buy the school, and he has egg all over his face.

Laypeople love the church. They love its programs. They love its institutions. So let them help run the show. Otherwise, they'll feel betrayed every time you make a decision they don't like.

("O'Malley to Meet School Protesters," Maria Cramer, Boston Globe 6.12.05, reg req'd)

Update 6.14.05: The archbishop doesn't apologize — mistakes were made, misunderstandings were had, pain was caused — but he takes several giant steps back in the resolution he reached yesterday with the Presentation School Foundation. Harvard Div School watchers will note the involvement of Bryan Hehir, former theology professor and head of the school who now leads Catholic Charities, in the archdiocesan delegation.

("O'Malley, Protesters End Standoff over School," Michael Paulson, Boston Globe 6.14.05, reg req'd; "Archdiocese Agrees To Pursue Sale of Closed Catholic School," Brooke Donald [AP], boston.com 6.13.05)

Copyright © 2005 by Philocrites | Posted 12 June 2005 at 9:25 AM

Previous: The archbishop on the hot seat.
Next: Carl Scovel offers new ways to see Jesus.

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