Lay Ministers


#1

We have many Eurcharistic Ministers in our church. Some are not the best examples of living the Catholic Faith. It has become difficult to attend this parish because of this fact.
Many parishoners have left and gone elsewhere. As the ministers and other lay helpers in positions of assumed authority in this parish are taking advantage of our pastor who has a passive personality. It has truly gotten out of hand, and the pastor has been told this.
The biggest issue is thatsome ministers are using this holy responsibility for social status and they posture themselves for recognition, not only at mass but at other community events. I can give many examples but this would take several paragraphs.
One example of their behavior would be the many e-mails they send regarding morality issues, all containing quotes from the bible, and also containing very judgemental views. As an adult Catholic, I do not need constant reminders and teachings about this and other topics. The focus is way off of devotional and worship and I am completely turned off.
Please advise how to deal with this spiritually.
Thank You,
Mommy K


#2

[quote="mommy_k, post:1, topic:302983"]
We have many Eurcharistic Ministers in our church. Some are not the best examples of living the Catholic Faith. It has become difficult to attend this parish because of this fact.
Many parishoners have left and gone elsewhere. As the ministers and other lay helpers in positions of assumed authority in this parish are taking advantage of our pastor who has a passive personality. It has truly gotten out of hand, and the pastor has been told this.
The biggest issue is thatsome ministers are using this holy responsibility for social status and they posture themselves for recognition, not only at mass but at other community events. I can give many examples but this would take several paragraphs.
One example of their behavior would be the many e-mails they send regarding morality issues, all containing quotes from the bible, and also containing very judgemental views. As an adult Catholic, I do not need constant reminders and teachings about this and other topics. The focus is way off of devotional and worship and I am completely turned off.
Please advise how to deal with this spiritually.
Thank You,
Mommy K

[/quote]

There are only three ways that I can think to deal with a situation such as you described:
1) Confront them. While you probably won't change their attitudes, they will probably avoid speaking to you or sending you those emails anymore.

2) Speak again with your parish priest. However, since you said that he has already been made aware of the situation...

3) Ignore it and worry about those things that you can change.

Just my thoughts.


#3

This is first and foremost the responsability of the pastor. if he won't do anything about it and the situation is way out of control - maybe you shold go over his head and talk to the bishop.
Of course theere amy come a time when the bishop transfers the pastor and it will be a whole new ballgame.


#4

[quote="mommy_k, post:1, topic:302983"]

One example of their behavior would be the many e-mails they send regarding morality issues, all containing quotes from the bible, and also containing very judgemental views.

[/quote]

Give us a few specific examples of these morality issues, please.


#5

[quote="mommy_k, post:1, topic:302983"]
We have many Eurcharistic Ministers in our church. Some are not the best examples of living the Catholic Faith. It has become difficult to attend this parish because of this fact.
Many parishoners have left and gone elsewhere. As the ministers and other lay helpers in positions of assumed authority in this parish are taking advantage of our pastor **who has a passive personality. It has truly gotten out of hand, and the pastor has been told this.
The biggest issue is thatsome ministers are **using this holy responsibility for social status and they posture themselves for recognition, not only at mass but at other community events.
I can give many examples but this would take several paragraphs.
One example of their behavior would be the many e-mails they send **regarding morality issues, all containing quotes from the bible, and also containing very judgemental views. **As an adult Catholic, I do not need constant reminders and teachings about this and other topics. The focus is way off of devotional and worship and I am completely turned off.
Please advise how to deal with this spiritually.
Thank You,
Mommy K

[/quote]

Bolding is mine.

While you say there are many examples, could you provide one specific example? That would help people advise you if this is part of a personality "clash" between parishoners or something more serious.

Otherwise it's a rant and while it may feel good to get it off your chest, it doesn't help people respond to your situation.


#6

[quote="mommy_k, post:1, topic:302983"]
containing very judgemental views.

[/quote]

Sometimes the mirror is the place we need to start. I know this to be true in my own life.

-Tim-


#7

[quote="mommy_k, post:1, topic:302983"]
We have many Eurcharistic Ministers in our church. Some are not the best examples of living the Catholic Faith. It has become difficult to attend this parish because of this fact.
Many parishoners have left and gone elsewhere. As the ministers and other lay helpers in positions of assumed authority in this parish are taking advantage of our pastor who has a passive personality. It has truly gotten out of hand, and the pastor has been told this.
The biggest issue is thatsome ministers are using this holy responsibility for social status and they posture themselves for recognition, not only at mass but at other community events. I can give many examples but this would take several paragraphs.
One example of their behavior would be the many e-mails they send regarding morality issues, all containing quotes from the bible, and also containing very judgemental views. As an adult Catholic, I do not need constant reminders and teachings about this and other topics. The focus is way off of devotional and worship and I am completely turned off.
Please advise how to deal with this spiritually.
Thank You,
Mommy K

[/quote]

If the emails concerning morals and Church teachings are speaking truth, how are they judgmental? I agree with the other posters here, we need specifics.

As far as needing reminders of the true teachings on morals, evidently we all need these reminders both in the homilies at Mass and outside; i.e. abortion, birth control, euthanasia, etc.

Give us specifics...thanks.


#8

Thank you for your replies-some e-mails contain items such as not associating with gay or people, and the like, some comments are blatently racist regarding immigration etc.

I have beena catholic all of my life and know better than to judge others. I am well aware of the churches views regarding gay marriage, abortion, and follow this belief.. .Some mininisters are divorced and living with a partner, and they do not apply church teaching to their own lives.
It seems they skipped over the verses in the bible about this and humility as well.

My desire is to attend mass and devotions to pray and worship God. Not to be caught up constantly in morality judgements. And most importantly, to accept and love people as Gd would want me to do.


#9

Offer it up.
"God alone is good." There is nowhere on earth you can hide from imperfection and sin.
Maybe they need you to shine a light with your example.


#10

I would politely tell them to loose my email and not to email me anymore. If they continued and your Priest did nothing, I'd go to the Bishop. Invasion of privacy,

also use the junk and block email or send it right back to them.


#11

I would ask them to remove you from their email list and explain why. If you can, block their emails anyway.

But before you delete, print them out “evidence” since you may need them.

If they are using a parish email address then becomes a whole other issue. That needs to be addressed with your pastor and/or parish council. AS far as your pastor is concerned, despite his passive personality, he needs to Man Up! Has your pastor actually seen what is written?

We had a similar incident in our parish earlier this year. An individual running for parish council sent out an email to each member of the parish council and other parish leaders telling them in scathing language how he felt each one had failed to live up to “his” standards of Catholicism, attacked them personally and not just on the ministry they were performing, how when he was elected to the council he would straighten them all out, how he would straighten out the pastor as well because the pastor never served in the military and he stated he had no respect for any adult’s opinion who did not serve in the military. He also posted prejudicial remarks about immigrants, women, gays, etc.

Two things happen:

First, the pastor was shown these emails and called in the person and asked that he apologize and remove himself from the ballot. He refused, and our pastor wisely did not force him (thereby making him a martyr) and said the parish will decide in the election. This man was known as a beligerant person before, but the pastor had never seen him in action or seen his writings. Like a true bully, he knew when and where to do his damage.

Second, those emails went through the parish like wildfire. A good lesson for everyone – once you put it out there in cyberspace you can’t take it back.

The results???

We had the largest turnout for an election and he came in second to last. No one has seen him since


#12

[quote="mommy_k, post:8, topic:302983"]
I have been a catholic all of my life and know better than to judge others. I am well aware of the churches views regarding gay marriage, abortion, and follow this belief.. .Some ministers are divorced and living with a partner, and they do not apply church teaching to their own lives.
It seems they skipped over the verses in the bible about this and humility as well.

[/quote]

It's my understanding that this would automatically disqualify anyone from serving as a reader and most certainly as an EMHC and as a godparent.


#13

MMmmmm haven't seen him since? :(

Such cases should never become exclusive in my view. Remember the Church is the last vestige of hope, it's not simply another social institution where a person can tolerate the suffering of stigmata with indignity. The life in the Church is a visual commentary on a person's faith for all to see, like it or not.

That said, a refusal to remove himself from a ballot enters a civil domain. There is now an extra option, albeit unpleasant. Remember, just such an exercise is being carried out for similar reasons in the diocese screening process. Of course I'm not saying this needs to be done as charity and patience should be conveyed at all times. Tact should always be used.

However I feel the remedy in this case is to offer some face saving alternative, perhaps a task of responsibility with an emphasis of the importance of the job. A discussion with a spiritual director should be offered. The pastor should call a general meeting to vent and
offer solutions and clear the slate, and he should say so. At the meeting a sermon on fraternity and charity should be given as an introduction, and not a short one either.

Stopping e-mails and all this is good prevention. In my diocese it is rare e-mails gets answered for this reason. It simply initiates debate and solves nothing, besides we never know who we talk to and names could be aliases.


#14

Mommy K-

It appears to me that you care too much. I think we are all called to love and worship God. When we start to worry about what others are doing, may be doing or should be doing we are loosing our focus. Let people serve God and leave the condemnation up to God. As far as the e-mails, just block them.


#15

[quote="djames99, post:13, topic:302983"]
MMmmmm haven't seen him since? :(

[/quote]

A little background: This person made it clear that it was difficult to be in this parish because of the things mentioned in my previous post. He was asked charitably on numerous occasions why is still insisted on coming to this parish if he found it such a vexation to his spiritual growth when there were others nearby that were better suited to his "views" and temperment. Especially when he had no ties (I mean family, etc.) to the parish community.

Hopefully he has found a space where he can receive the spiritual graces he needs. Not all communities (made up as flawed humans) can be all things to all people at all times


#16

It would go to my spam if I didn't like receiving them

As to the rest, we are all sinners and God loves all of us.

And that perhaps the priest is trying to encourage sinners by placing them in responsible role to help them deal with their own sin. We are not to judge the sins of others whether they are divorced or not etc. God alone does the judging. I think we need to trust the priest a bit more and not worry about what these people do through the week. You would really hate me as an Altar Server by all accounts of what you wrote here and what I know of me. But I am open an honest with the Priest and I am still Serving regardless to those people who want us to be normal and perfect at the same time. We are all sinners and most of us choose some teachings to follow in the church and ignore other teachings. Everybody does it, its natural part of being human. You may say you faithfully 100% follow but deep down there be something you disagree with and skip on whether you declare it or not. You wouldn't be human if you didn't. Give these people a break like the priest has done. Give them a chance like the Priest has done. He will be aware of what is on their hearts more than you will ever know what is on their hearts and we are not to judge one another. Just relax and let God heal

peace be with you
xxx


#17

[quote="mommy_k, post:1, topic:302983"]
We have many Eurcharistic Ministers in our church. Some are not the best examples of living the Catholic Faith. It has become difficult to attend this parish because of this fact.
Many parishoners have left and gone elsewhere. As the ministers and other lay helpers in positions of assumed authority in this parish are taking advantage of our pastor who has a passive personality. It has truly gotten out of hand, and the pastor has been told this.
The biggest issue is thatsome ministers are using this holy responsibility for social status and they posture themselves for recognition, not only at mass but at other community events. I can give many examples but this would take several paragraphs.

[/quote]

Unfortunately, this happens. There is a certain amount of esteem associated with being up on the altar with the priest and sometimes it can be a source of pride, or the EMHC's forget that theirs is an extraordinary role and begin to think of it as entitlement, or "their" job. I'd not let it worry me - Christ Himself has a way of humbling those whose hearts are not in the right place.

Some mininisters are divorced and living with a partner, and they do not apply church teaching to their own lives.

We briefly attended a church where this was a blatant violation; indeed, in one instance it caused scandal. When I approached the pastor, he actually defended it saying, "what am I supposed to do when 80% of the congregation is in a bad marriage?" We never attended Mass there again, but I did ask another priest about this and he advised me to write to the Liturgical Commission in our diocese because it is a situation that cannot stand.

I also believe there is a document called Immensae Caritatis that speaks of this.


#18

[quote="mommy_k, post:1, topic:302983"]
We have many Eurcharistic Ministers in our church. Some are not the best examples of living the Catholic Faith. It has become difficult to attend this parish because of this fact.
Many parishoners have left and gone elsewhere. As the ministers and other lay helpers in positions of assumed authority in this parish are taking advantage of our pastor who has a passive personality. It has truly gotten out of hand, and the pastor has been told this.
The biggest issue is thatsome ministers are using this holy responsibility for social status and they posture themselves for recognition, not only at mass but at other community events. I can give many examples but this would take several paragraphs.
One example of their behavior would be the many e-mails they send regarding morality issues, all containing quotes from the bible, and also containing very judgemental views. As an adult Catholic, I do not need constant reminders and teachings about this and other topics. The focus is way off of devotional and worship and I am completely turned off.
Please advise how to deal with this spiritually.
Thank You,
Mommy K

[/quote]

I have seen people that are not lay ministers and they do that too. If they are doing something that is clearly against the teachings of the Church then you should correct them with brotherly love, just be specific, after a while they will take your name away from the mailing list. If they are just annoying then ask them to drop your account from their mailing list.


#19

Thank you for your replies. I feel that when you are annointed to become a Eucharistic minister it is a sacred thing. Perhaps the church needs to prepare lay ministers better sothey can truly become the representitives of the church.
Can someone suggest any readings for me to help me accept my situation and to help me get past this spiritually?
I would never report my pastor, he is a holy man with a gentle soul. I will however be blocking e-mails from the ministers
God Bless you all


#20

Did you, perhaps mean ‘appointed’? I am asking because you may be misunderstanding how an EMHC ‘comes about’. They are not anointed, if by that you mean they are given a permanent character. The role can be removed from them at any time. it’s not like being anointed king, for instance, like King David was anointed.


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