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Letter: Call for more parish councils

Having read some interesting articles lately urging greater consultation with the laity by the bishops, I am delighted that this issue is being discussed.

We know that the Pope wants a more synodal Church. He wants the bishops to consult with the church at large. He denounces clericalism as 'a gross deformation' and states that by receiving the Holy Spirit in baptism we all have the right to be involved in the decision-making processes of the Church.

One way we can do this is through parish councils.

Canon Law allows for and encourages parish councils. Surely there are good arguments for parishioners being allowed to administer the parish along with the priest? Surely it is desirable that there is a strong and thriving consultative process in each parish and in each diocese?

I have great faith that by discussing things we will enlighten each other, and all participants will be enriched.

I think that the way we relate to each other in our parishes is crucial to the future well-being of the Catholic Church, and therefore I believe that there is a strong need for a national synod on 'the parish' which would call for comments, suggestions, recommendations on how people view their parish and how they think parish life could be improved. It should not be restrictive, but should allow people to make suggestions on all aspects of parish life.

I would like to urge people to write to their bishops calling for a national (or even a local diocesan) synod on 'The Parish'.

Yours sincerely,

Virginia Bell,

Catholic Action for Animals,
2 Dodkin, Beanhill,
Milton Keynes MK6 4LP
UK