And, if so, what should that Congregation for the Laity look like?
Should half of its members be women? What kind of women? Homemakers and mothers? Professional women? Lay apostolate leaders? Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion type lay people?
Cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodriguez Maradiaga, the Archbishop of Tegucigalpa (Honduras) who is in charge of coordinating the Pope’s eight-member Council of Cardinals said the group has resumed its talks regarding Curia reform. He said this from the northern Spanish city of Logroño, which he is currently visiting.
The cardinal explained that “the Vatican’s bodies will be rearranged as the Laity is currently just represented by a Pontifical Council. There is a Congregation for Bishops, another for priests and one for religious but there isn’t one for the laity, despite the fact they are the majority.”
It is not surprising that the Curia reforms include a greater attention to the laity by means of a new Congregation dedicated especially to them. Various pontifical councils could be merged into this, including the Pontifical Council for the Family and the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Health Care Workers.
Pope Francis sees clericalism as an illness in the Church: this is partly why it is absurd for lay men and women in Christian communities and Church structures to undergo a sort of “clericalisation” in order to be valued.
I can’t stand the way laity are clericalized in the Catholic Church. I wish more lay Catholics would get about their mission to transform the world than being concerned about being Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (when there are enough deacons and priests around) or lectors (same thing, why does it seem to always be some woman in slacks coming forward to read?) or some other role that seems to diminish the importance of priests and deacons?
Let’s find our proper complementarity, okay?