So wrote Fr. Aldo J. Tos, 72, pastor of St. Joseph's Church in Greenwich Village, N.Y., in a June newsletter to his flock, the week before the American bishops were to meet in Dallas to discuss the church's scandal.
In May, St. Joseph's
Pastoral Council had sent a letter to every bishop in the country outlining how they wanted the bishops to respond.
But the deepest issue -- which Tos
calls the "culture of mendacity" that has nurtured the abuse and cover-up -- was not on the agenda.
stresses the parish's obligation to create the intellectual atmosphere, through courses and lectures that prepare the laity to lead.
...Tos is too humble to agree; but he began as pastor determined to follow Karl Rahner's advice that the laity should have "deliberative" power.
leadership style depends on shared prayer and listening.
There is a 12-member pastoral council elected by the 600 registered parishioners; an eight-member finance council of volunteers with money skills; and a parish manager-administrator, a retired CEO who gives it several days a week.Though canon law makes the council consultative, they govern by consensus.Tos
would be a fool to not follow the voice of the Spirit in the group.
Their letter to the bishops called on the bishops to "exercise genuine leadership," "beyond defensiveness and reaction, and beyond protectiveness of the church's material assets," and to "establish open structures" for conversations among themselves and with the laity on "sexuality, ministry and power, recognizing that these matters and their links form the cornerstone of the present crisis."
It is an expression of both hope and dismay -- and some anger.