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Letter from Rome: When the bishop is a real SOB

Why the Catholic hierarchy's refusal to ordain married priests is bad ecclesiology and flies in the face of history

Letter from Rome: When the bishop is a real SOB

A priest-friend who is the pastor of two parishes in the United States recently expressed dismay over his bishop's decision to change the pastoral structure of their midsized diocese in the Great Lakes area.

In effect, parishes in this diocese are to be put into clusters and a team of presbyters will be assigned to look after each of these groupings. For example, a cluster of six churches might get four or five clerics to provide them with the sacraments. Some dioceses call this the "family of parishes" model.

But not everyone is pleased with it. "This will sever the bond between the pastor and his parishioners," said my friend, who was ordained to the presbyterate over 30 years ago.

It's his understanding that he and his ordained co-workers will rotate between these various parishes each week. And his big fear is that this means he will minister in each of these parishes only 11 or 12 times a year, making it almost impossible for him to get to know all the parishioners in the cluster.

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