Pope Francis talks about the harmful effects of parish sins (2:20).
Don't let envy divide your parish
"Are you envious because I am generous? Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last." (Mt 20:20)
“Life is not fair! Some have so much, without having had to do anything to deserve it. Others have so little, when they have been virtuous all their lives and have almost nothing to show for it!” We often hear this or similar comments on the inequalities of this world. Even in the Church, there are inequalities. Or, at least, some seem to have more privileges than others.
One of the most common complaints that parish priests have to deal with concerns the alleged unfairness handed out by laypersons in Church ministries. At one time, I suppose, people had similar complaints about favoritism practiced by the clergy, but they had no one to complain to! Now, they come to the pastor with stories of discrimination against their children at the hands of catechists, confirmation leaders, or first sacraments’ personnel.
“My daughter never missed even one class. She did all of her service projects. But you have allowed so-and-so to be confirmed when he hardly ever came and surely did not finish his service hours! It is unfair.”
I have had a parish director of confirmation quit her position because I wanted her to modify the requirements for a poor soul who had a learning disability and could not do all the lessons. “It isn't fair, when all the others have worked so hard!” The last straw was when I quoted the Parable of the late workers from Matthew!
We have made many rules in the Church, all in the interest of making it fair for everyone. But then, someone comes along who does not fit our categories, and we go berserk. We are confused; we do not know what to do.
An altar server always shows up late. We do not know that she/he is part of a large family, with only one bathroom, where everyone has to be brought to Mass, as soon as all are ready. Every family is not organized nor disciplined like the members of a monastery community.
A special minister of the Eucharist wears the very best she can afford; some of us complain that it not appropriate to be “on the altar dressed like that!”
To paraphrase the late Tip O'Neil, "all Church life is at the parish level." The policies and practices of the local parish are those of the whole Church as far as the parishioners are concerned. Surely, God must be concerned.ECHOING GOD'S WORD – © 2017 Rev. Clement D. Thimbodeau (1932-2017); Used with permission.
America - The Jesuit Review — (3:33)
ROME REPORTS in English — (1:12)
Catholic News Service - (1:55)