There’s a lot of common sense wisdom in this commentary by Jennifer Roback Morse on how the laity can do their part to address problems in the Church:
We as laity don’t have the power to “make” the clergy, much less the pope, do what we want. We can complain all day long. But at the end of the day, where will we be? We’ll be another day older, angrier and more frustrated.
Angry people don’t attract people to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which actually is our responsibility.
We have to admit that not all the problems in the Church today are the fault of the clergy. Enemies of the faith have colonized many of our Catholic institutions, including our parish schools, diocesan high schools, Catholic universities, publishing houses and hospitals. This is not entirely the fault of the clergy. Many schools, for instance, have become what the parents, students and faculty demand.
What can you do? Our Lord put each of us into a particular time and place to be salt and light. There are people in your life who will not hear the Gospel or see it in action without your witness. My organization, the Ruth Institute, is slightly nerdy. Not everyone is: I get that. But we place our “Nerd Gifts” at the service of the Church. I challenge you to place your vocational gifts and talents at the service of reforming the Church.You have every right and responsibility to be involved in the governance of your parish school. Get a handful of people together and present your case for change. Run for the relevant offices. Volunteer for significant positions.
…Let’s get a grip on what we can control. If all of us, if even 10% of us, truly did everything that was within our power and authority to do, the hierarchy couldn’t get away with what they’ve been getting away with. They couldn’t bamboozle us with fluffy teachings. They couldn’t exile innocent pastors or cover for predators. We would be watching.
Our responsibility is to hand on the deposit of faith to the next generation, as it was handed on to us. The corruption we are seeing in our clergy and in our institutions did not happen overnight. We are about 50 years behind in dealing with these issues. We don’t have time to spin our wheels and wring our hands over things we can’t control.