MELBOURNE, Australia, Oct. 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- On the eve of 500th anniversary of the most significant reform of the Catholic Church leading to the Protestant Reformation, an Australian priest excommunicated for supporting women priests, has launched a radical program to reform the Catholic Church.
Father Greg Reynolds, founder of Inclusive Catholics, a liberated fringe group of Catholics disillusioned with, and disenfranchised from, the institutional church, is calling for parishioners across the globe to take greater responsibility for their local church.
His plan is for parishes to establish what he calls a 'House of the Laity' to empower church-going Catholics to take responsibility for the life of their parishes.
"The House of the Laity is a structure whereby Catholics can have an official voice in how their parishes are run; currently, there is none," Fr Reynolds said.
Fr Reynolds has launched a crowd-funding campaign to develop a kit for Catholic laity to establish their own House of the Laity and run their local parish in partnership with the parish priest.
The kit will include a step-by-step guide of how to implement a House of the Laity.
"I believe most priests would welcome the support that this initiative would provide them," Fr Reynolds said.
"Currently, all the responsibility of the governance of a parish falls on the shoulders of the local priest; parishioners can only advise through a parish council."
"With vocations dwindling, and an ageing clergy, this responsibility is becoming more and more onerous. Establishing a House of the Laity will mean that the load is more justly shared and then there can be more genuine co-responsibility between the priest and the laity."
Fr Reynolds is calling on interested Catholics to help fund the development and distribution of the kit worldwide.
"Martin Luther took a very brave step when he nailed his 95 theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg, Germany, on 31 October 1517, opposing abuses of the time. However, without that step the church might still be selling indulgences," he said.
"In the wake of the revelations of various inquiries internationally into horrendous clerical abuse, a further serious reform is now urgently required."
To contribute to the crowd-funding campaign to develop and distribute the House of the Laity Kit for Catholics go to: https://www.gofundme.com/help-renew-the-catholic-church
Caption: Father Greg Reynolds