That’s one of the longstanding universal excuses that’s routinely offered. If that’s indeed the case in some parishes then something needs to be done about it. Yes, it’s that important – not only for the laity, but for the priest as well.
That might indeed be the case in some parishes. A far more difficult problem to solve of course, but one that still needs to be addressed.
What do you mean exactly? I’m not disagreeing, but what exactly changed?
When I was a child, my home parish had a pastor, 3 curates, a parish secretary, a religious sister who took care of the altar servers and linens and a volunteer maintenance coordinator. Business was done in the rectory, where the pastor maintained an office and a meeting room.
Today, on that EXACT SAME CAMPUS with perhaps 10% fewer parishioners and 1 less Mass/day on all 7 days, my home parish has: a pastor, 2 parochial vicars, a senior priest, 3 deacons, an office manager, 4 office assistants, a bookeeper, a bookeeper’s assistant, a music director and a total of NINETEEN (this number fluctuates, but I have my parish bulletin in front of me) lay pastoral “coordinators” for everything from a “liturgy coordinator” and a “environment coordinator” to a “physical plant coordinator” and a “baptism coordinator.” They are now located in a former apartment building that’s adjacent to my parish.
From what I can ascertain, my parishes actually provides somewhat fewer services (e.g. no more weekday evening Masses) then it did decades ago. The only new mandate is the “safe environment coordinator” from the diocese (which is a good thing.) What do all these resources (people) spend their time on? Please think about that for a moment. No, it’s not a matter of more people attending the parish or anything like that. where do you think the hours go (including the priestly hours?)
While I have never formally analyzed the parish, my years with McKinsey tell me that most of the resources go to dealing with/navigating the huge bureaucracy that has been constructed – largely by the laity over several decades.
This is the sort of thing that many don’t recognize, much less truly grasp. It’s a sort of situation that causes a great deal of frustration. It’s the sort of thing that does great damage to parishes and often to the people who populate them.