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At each Mass celebrated in our Diocese the celebrant is asked to pray "for an increase in vocations to the priesthood and religious life."
The other day I asked one of our priests why we have not got a Parish Council in our parish as some other parishes have. This would give some kind of a voice to lay people in the affairs of the parish. He said that they were "thinking about it".

To sumarize the Pope's Francis's teaching on the role of the laity:

Clericalism, he says, is stifling the possibility of lay people taking up their proper role in the Catholic Church. Lay people must assume their proper responsibility for mission and evangelization. Clericalism does not just negate the personality of Christians, but it has a tendency to diminish and devalue the baptismal grace existing in people. Clericalism leads to seeing lay people in a functional way, treating them as servants, and cutting out their initiative, efforts, and even the necessary boldness to take the Good News of the Gospel to all environments of social and especially political life. Lay people don’t seem to know what to do without asking a priest. Lay people can and should be at the centre of the Church’s work of evangelisation.

Before the Second Vatican Council (1962), it was common to think of the Church as made up of bishops (successors to the apostles), priests (ordained ministers), consecrated religious (who took public vows) and laity, who were seen as non-ordained and non-consecrated — in other words, as “none of the above.”

The Vatican Council tried to turn this around. It said that the laity's specific mission consists in bringing the secular world to God, and that the clergy's role is to help the lay people achieve their mission.

The Laity are called, Francis said, “to animate every environment, every activity, every human relation according to the spirit of the Gospel, bringing light, hope, and the charity received from Christ to those places that otherwise would remain foreign to God’s action and abandoned to the misery of the human condition.”

Some think it’s about lay people – both men, and even more importantly, women – having more power in the Church and taking on more ministries. Yet it is precisely this that Pope Francis calls clericalism. “We must not generate a lay elite, believing that only they are committed lay people who work in the things ‘of the priests."

One of the roles of the laity: http://www.romereports.com/2016/06/03/pope-publishes-video-to-pray-for-aged-marginalized-and-lonely

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the shortage of priests here in the USA forced the church to let the laity have a bigger role in running the parish
when Father only comes in to "say mass on sunday" and it might not always be the same Father - somebody has to do the work

clericalism made women 3rd class citizens!
women were the enemy of priestly celibacy - 9 or 90 it made no difference
cleaning and running the Parish Dinner were her duties

if "things of the priest" are sacramental - as it seems they were in the early church - and if serving in a sacramental role is open to either gender then clericalism is eliminated
But lay people "serving in a sacramental role" would be clericalism, according to Pope Francis. The specific mission of the laity consists in bringing the secular world to God, and that the clergy's role is to help the lay people achieve their mission.
sacramental people of both genders would no longer be "laic" - they would be "sacredos"

those of both genders would serve the community bringing the sacraments that nourish the christian life begun with baptism

everyone has a charism - everyone has a sacramental life which helps them live their charism

lay/cleric is an artificial distinction - a relic of history

to be "clerical" traces back to medieval universities when all scholars had to be tonsured "clerics" because knowledge and scholarship was reserved to the church

thankfully. we are past that
Francis is moving toward a redefinition of roles
if the church can move beyond tying role to gender it will move into the world as it is today
Oh, dude!

Check out the Gospel of Thomas. But only the first 12 (and maybe the 13th if you are a cyborg) parts.
re the link
isn't that a role for everybody?
are all not called equally to do the works of mercy?

what the church needs to do is get rid of the hierarchy and divisive

priests and religious are no holier than anyone else - they do not know more - or have a special relationship with god - they do things - they live their lives in ways that, hopefully, are meaningful and helpful for them

a prayerful dentist is as holy and doing god's work as anyone wearing fancy religious dress

there were those of us influenced by Vatican 2 who tried to live this way in the 60's
"are all not called equally to do the works of mercy?"

That is my point (and the pope's). If lay Catholics fulfilled their own Christian ministry among themselves they would inspire plenty of young clerics to look after the sacraments.

Lectors and Eucharistic ministers, etc. are only lay people setting themselves up as some kind of an elite group in the parish with a 'better than thou' mentality.
i was never a eucharistic minister but i was a lector and cantor because i have that talent aka charism and the parish needed me

"Lectors and Eucharistic ministers, etc. are only lay people "

no, they are not ONLY lay people - they are christians serving the needs of the community with their talents

religious are then "only lay people"
and priests become a privileged class

the days when Father was the community leader because of special knowledge and "power" giving the "humble lay people" awe are long gone

if we got RID of "cleric" and "lay" and just let people do what they can and are good at then we would have a vibrant living community