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Pope's comments to priests drawing mixed headlines

The Pope's comments to the Congregation for the Clergy on Saturday are generating mixed headlines in the media today. Some are interpreting them as criticism of democracy in Church governance others as a need to find balance in Church governance.

Associated Press and other agencies published a story on Saturday concerning a speech made by the Pope to members of the Congregation for the Clergy. At this stage the Catholic agencies do not seem to have picked up on it and we do not have the benefit of the full text of what was being said. Associated Press carries the story under the headline "Pope wants Priest-Parishioner distinction". The Italian agency, AGI, is carrying the story under the headline "Pope: Democracy not needed in Churches". A Canadian online news service is carrying the AP report under the headline "Pope tells priests to find balance". It is difficult to discern at this stage if the Pope was mainly being critical of the increased involvement of lay people in decision making or if they are comments in a more positive frame of reference outlining how the role of the diocesan priest or pastor might be better balanced with the role of lay people. The links below take you to the various takes being placed on the story at this stage.

Associated Press – Pope wants Priest-Parishioner distinction
AGI – Pope: Democracy not needed in Churches – Pope tells priests to find balance

12 Jan 2004