Ossory makes ‘positive’ moves towards lay-led Church

Ossory makes ‘positive’ moves towards lay-led Church Gemma Mulligan

The diocese of Ossory is determined to move forward with plans to identify, recruit and train lay people to help run the diocese and local parishes according to the Coordinator of the Diocesan Pastoral Plan.

After a conference of clergy and laity over the weekend Gemma Mulligan said there was a “really positive feeling that we are moving forward”.

Ms Mulligan said the positions would be paid as it is “necessary” and “important to invest in people”. In regards to pastoral roles, theology graduates and people with a good grounding in theology would be considered.

In his address at the conference Bishop Dermot Farrell said there needs to be a “paradigm shift” on the part of priests and laity, mentioning Pope Francis’ push for a more synodal Church and the declining number of ordained ministers.

“The Church is the People of God. This is sometimes forgotten by the clergy. The laity comprise 99.999% of the Church’s members. When this is grasped all else changes. Then it is a question of what we do.

“Recognising this fact will require institutional reform, and a sharing of authority at all levels. We need to put in place practical arrangements that shape our response to the pastoral, spiritual and evangelising needs of the parishes in the diocese where the liturgy maintains and nourishes the Christian life.

“A service model will not sustain the Christian life in the parish,” he added.