Catholic World News

Vatican newspaper article: the lay faithful do not exist merely to obey

January 16, 2018

In an article reprinted in L’Osservatore Romano, Italian historian Lucetta Scaraffia wrote that the clergy need to listen to the theological insights of the laity—especially of women—or young people will continue to leave the Church.

“Priests ignore the books, many and very interesting, written by women in recent years: in large part books of exegesis with new ideas,” said Scaraffia, a frequent contributor to the Vatican newspaper. Her article was originally published in Vita Pastorale, a monthly pastoral publication.

Young people, according to Scaraffia, have little desire to take an active part in an institution in which the laity are not listened to, but are viewed merely as “obedient executors,” for the laity “exist not only to obey.”

Scaraffia added that “in a parish community, the voice of women can make an essential contribution to warming human relationships, to make the clergy understand what happens outside of a world which, in tendency, is self-referential, to imagine new initiatives, and to reflect on issues such as those of the family, of sexuality, of youth.”


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