It's been interesting reading the debate here in the comment section over the last fortnight regarding the Hamilton Diocesan plan.
To bring readers up to speed – there is a new model being proposed for the diocese which will see new pastoral areas being established. Under this new model, which I understand is intended to be in place as early as January 2015, priests will not work solely within a parish, but will be clustered across a geographical area. There will no longer be an identified parish priest, rather there will be a group of priests serving a much wider area.The driver for this new plan is the reducing number of active priests, and recognition that those who still are active are aging. The Hamilton diocese have made the decision not to recruit priests from overseas (I'm not sure why) so there is no "quick fix" in this area
Reading the various comments here on Being Frank hasmade me wonder whether this is an initiative that all catholics in the Hamilton diocese should expect to be consulted on, or whether as this is an issue of priest supply, it is for the clergy solely to decide and work through. I don't have a fixed position on it as I can see both sides of the argument. It is fundamentally an issue of being consulted or being told. Either way will lead to second guessing. It is an interesting question for the laity to reflect on – should they expect, as of right, to be consulted on such a decision?