by NZ CATHOLIC staff
Some parishes in Wellington archdiocese are reportedly not reviewing Mass times and their number of Masses in line with their number of priests, as they are expected to.
The Clergy Trust Fund in the archdiocese has expressed concern at this.
Such parishes have organised supply priests, not in parish ministry, to be available in those places to celebrate Masses on a regular basis. And the trust fund (CTF) is expected to pay the stipend for those supply priests.
But the CTF has warned that its policy of funding supply priests applies only when a legitimate reason exists, such as when priests take annual leave, go on sabbatical, make a retreat or attend a course.
The CTF referred to the 2013 document A Future Full of Hope — Reimagining the Future of the Archdiocese of Wellington.
“In announcing that some parishes would amalgamate to become a new parish led by a pastoral team, there is an expectation that the team will make provision for Masses, taking into account the number of priests appointed to the new parish.”
The organisation of permanent supply priests by parishes reduces the number of priests available for supply when emergencies arise, the CTF warned.
It also makes an unreasonable call on the CTF and is counter to the spirit of the 2013 document.
Cardinal John Dew has asked that the policy suggested by the CTF be implemented as soon as practicable, and at the latest by February 1 next year.