Creating A Listening and Caring Church

By Dr Nick Mazza

Yes, listen to the faithful. We have much to bring to the conversation. There are a few reasons to do so.

1. Wisdom is not in the hands of a few individual church leaders. This is just good common sense.
2. All God’s People have a right and responsibility to voice our concerns to our pastors and this is a principle of our church stated in Canon Law.
3. Our pastors have a responsibility to listen to the faithful, and this is a principle of our church stated in Canon Law as well.
4. All of God’s creation is uniquely gifted and talented and are called to bring our unique personalities, interests and concerns to our faith community. This has been stated and restated over the years by the Bishops of the United States in Pastoral Letters and Exortations.

So “why” are these principles, laws and pastoral messages seldom followed by the leaders of our church? What is preventing an open and on-going dialogue from happening?

Should the laity begin to form listening sessions with our clergy to create the opportunity for greater discussion and consultation? Are local synods of the laity with clergy a practical step in this direction? I’d like to hear from you and especially our clergy.


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