Journalists, governments, laity, common people….all are thinking about who could be the next Pope.  We retain that who is going to be the next Pope is not so important. Let’s be more clear. The cardinals were chosen by John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Although there is still a remote chance that the chosen one could bring the much needed change in the direction of the church, yet we feel that in the long run it is totally an alienation to expect a change from the top. Several studies have shown that changes rarely do come from top to bottom but rather from bottom (or below) to top.

It’s the common people who have to the duty to use several media to call for a big change in the church. It’s not the people who just pop in and participate in a demonstration but rather the faithful who try to live the gospel in their everyday lives and have come to the conclusion that they need to live their spirituality in a different way. It’s not much about the sound or the echo they make in the media but rather the gentle persuasion by leading a truly christian life.

Now for many centuries the laity (those who are not priests but just Christians), have been living like a young children who expect their parents to feed them, to cook for them…to provide them with all the necessary and basic needs of life. Now, especially with the diminishing number of priests, they are in a better position to negotiate a better place in the church. They are not just ‘children’ but are adults in faith.  The sensus fidelium is a very common phrase in theology (study about God), where one respects what the common Christian community thinks and how it lives its faith. This is the most basic teaching which many Christians don’t know about. Consequently they still expect to be lead instead of showing the way to the bishops (or cardinals) ! We should be looking for the emancipation of the laity by training them in the matters of the church.  This is the door to the big change in the church rather than putting all the weight on the shoulders of the cardinals! When the laity is trained, then it will be ready to govern (if necessary) in the church. But until we train the laity all hopes will be simply wishful thinking.

Now training the laity is not just an expression. It needs to be very well planned in all areas (content, choice of people, teachers, managers etc….). It’s not an easy solution and it could not be carried out in a short time. But it surely needs long term planning in order to have good leaders in the future. We firmly believe that education of the laity is the most promising solution although it has a lot of challenges too. We are disappointed that most married priests have either abandoned all interest in the church (although we understand their anger and past experience) or else they are simply happy to wed or baptize couples and stop there! We are not against those priests who are committed to couples, but if one has the big picture in mind, it is not a lasting experience and it will not change the church. Consequently the experience of a married priest in a baptism or wedding should lead to something else: how about taking charge of the church? We, as married priests, could provide the perfect teaching resource as we too have a family and daily challenges in our everyday life.

On the other hand we hope that all the cardinals should show more respect what the Christian community thinks about the Church, God etc……It’s not just a consultation with the people but rather listening to what God is telling us during these times.