To the editor:
With the selling of the churches in the diocese, and the demolition of St. Benedict’s in Ladd, and the loss of attendance in the four suspended churches in our area, it is time to challenge the bishop of the Diocese of Peoria, and all other bishops in the United States who did the same thing. People are tired of the possible extinction of their Catholic heritage.
It’s up to the laity to solve these problems. The religious are not going to extend themselves to right the wrongs that exist. They are not in the position to right these wrongs.
We have little authority in church governance, and we must challenge this clerical pyramid that is secretive and above scrutiny. We must take a stand for accountability and a more in-depth approach of overseeing the complexities of church finances and all church functions.
We want a diocese, a monastery or an abbey to be like that of a poor workman who is not sure if tomorrow we will find work or bread. And who, with all their being, share their suffering with those they preach to.
We no longer want a diocese, a monastery or an abbey that concerns itself with their own survival, their own security, free from fear or anxiety, while the parishioners are uneasy and anxious about what the future holds in their Catholic community.
It is easy to speak of spiritual poverty, to fill one’s mouth with pious words, based on scriptural readings and yet not lack anything, nor feel the stress of where to find the next meal or how they will pay the rent or will a job present itself so as to pay for one’s basic needs.
It is time the parishioners take back the churches they paid for, furnished, and repaired and were then appropriated by the clerical pyramid — the diocese. It is time for the laity to handle church operations and let the priests be responsible “only” for what is sacred.
Today we have too many priests who live comfortably, while the parishioners struggle for their church survival. This has to stop. There are few priests that emulate the poor Nazarene and humble Jesus.
There is no shortage of priests. Give priests the opportunity to say more Masses to alleviate the church problems without priests.
We need a crusade to recover “Christianity” from the clerical elite. This has to come about in order to ensure our Catholic faith.
We need new leadership that would satisfy the concerns of the faithful. I would like Bishop Jenky to step down and have someone else who can solve the problems that we have had for some time, and make the necessary changes that would restore faith in the parishioners of our area.