There is no doubt that what the evidence urges upon us is a reform of the ministerial structure and of the pastoral machinery of the Church… Though the difficulties stare us in the face, the alternatives are chilling— to do nothing, which means to abandon the nation to its religious decline and the clergy to their isolation, or to attempt a few piecemeal reforms which may save face but leave the central missionary problem to the conurbations unresolved. The crux of the whole problem… seem to me this— though short of manpower the Church cannot use the clergy it has effectively as it ought to: it is a bad steward. It needs more clergy, but it has no moral right to ask for them unless it can deploy them effectively. … At the same time it does not want a harassed, servile, or timid clergy as the price of reorganisation: as a profession the clergy needs to be raised in standards and stature, not lowered.
Any guess as to author and date?
- Leslie Paul (a professional sociologist)
- January 1964.
So the question occurs to me, will someone wake me up when we get there?