Well, I'm in the throes of a lovely two-day migraine (which is why I didn't post yesterday). But I wanted to put this brief "survey" post up today--these are things I've been thinking about in light not only of the FMC situation but of other situations where many of us (myself included) have a tendency to believe, in any conflict between a bishop or pastor and group of lay people, that the laity must be in the right.
I'm not advocating for any kind of return to clericalism, mind you. The attitude that priests are always right and lay people must always defer to them gets poisonous really quickly, not just for us, but for them as well. Pope Francis isn't the only recent pope to warn about clericalism and its dangers.
But I suspect that the "lay people are always right!" attitude is coming from some real place, and with that in mind, I invite you to answer these questions in the comment box (and I apologize for not knowing how to do those nice embedded surveys, but I'm technologically impaired). They are all "yes/no" questions, so you can simply put "1. Yes, 2. No," or whatever if you participate.
1. I believe my pastor fully accepts all Church teachings and is faithful to the Magisterium.
2. My pastor is an approachable man and I believe we could have a perfectly civil conversation about anything at all, especially Church matters.
3. My pastor is kind, respectful, and polite in his dealings with his flock.
4. My pastor is aware of the realities that 21st-century working families face, and is considerate in his scheduling of parish events and activities, especially those that are mandatory for parents such as sacramental prep. classes or meetings.
5. My pastor is aware that many families are struggling financially these days, and does not assume, in his fundraising efforts, that most people have a great deal of disposable income which they squander on luxuries.
6. My pastor is fully supportive of the Church's pro-life teachings and creates an atmosphere that is welcoming to large families, families with small children, etc. He also supports pro-life ministries, especially those which give direct aid to women in crisis pregnancies, and permits information about NFP and/or NFP classes to be shared at the parish.
7. If I ever had a serious issue with something at my parish, I know I could talk to my pastor openly and honestly about it, and he would listen without being dismissive or defensive.
8. While my pastor is firm when it comes to Church teaching, I know that when it comes to mere parish policies or rules he puts people above policy whenever possible.
9. My pastor may, quite naturally, know some people at the parish better than others, but he does not have an "in-group" or "clique" of lay people within the parish.
10. My pastor makes every effort to recognize his flock and learn their names.
Thanks in advance to all who participate! I am aiming this at my fellow Catholics, but if you're not Catholic just say so in the comments along with your answers.