Dr Fáinche Ryan questions the recent closing of the Redemptorist Chapel at Marianella in Rathgar, Dublin City – on the grounds that while priests are becoming scarce due to the current terms imposed for ordination, Marianella had no shortage of baptised members of the body of Christ.
“It seems we are still, in Ireland, and indeed universally, very much a priest-centred church. This is epitomised in decisions to close chapels and sell church property. Good men make decisions, for what they think are good reasons.
“All too often no one speaks with, or listens to, the people who have worshipped there day after day, week after week, year after year.
“This seems to be the practice, more or less everywhere. An old vision of church prevails. The ordained make the decisions. The laity ‘pay, pray and obey’….
“Does the eucharistic community need to pack their bags and follow the priest? Or does the community have a standing as a real expression of the mystical body of Christ?”