Vatican document offers guidance on parish reforms, restructuring
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy issued a new instruction on pastoral care that specifies the role of lay men and women in the Church’s mission of evangelization and offers guidance in parish reforms and restructuring.
The 22-page document, titled “The pastoral conversion of the parish community in the service of the evangelizing mission of the Church,” was released by the Vatican July 20.
While it does not introduce new legislation on pastoral care, the Vatican press office said it was developed by the congregation as a guide related “to the various projects of reform of parish communities and diocesan restructuring, already underway or in the planning process.” It also clarifies the role of the deacons, consecrated men and women, as well as the laity, in dioceses where there is a shortage or lack of priests. Read the rest of the article
There are are couple of quotes/paragraphs from the document I would like to highlight:
The pastoral conversion of the Parish community, in terms of mission, takes shape and finds expression in a gradual process of renewal of structures; consequently, different forms of shared pastoral care emerge, as well as forms of participation in it that involve the entire People of God.
...when circumstances require it, ...the Bishop, ...can decree a more stable and institutional grouping of various Parishes...in order to foster greater collaboration among them...
Once a grouping of Parishes has been established according to the norm of law...the Bishop will determine, as appropriate, whether each Parish should have its own Parish Pastoral Council, or whether it is better that this task be entrusted to a single Pastoral Council for all of them. In any case, the individual Parishes within the grouping, since they retain juridic personality and capacity, must maintain their own Finance Councils.