The best statement I’ve read from Pope Francis comes from a book-length interview he gave as archbishop of Buenos Aires on the true vocation of the laity:

“We priests tend to clericalize the laity. We do not realize it, but it is as if we infect them with our own disease. And the laity — not all, but many — ask us on their knees to clericalize them, because it is more comfortable to be an altar server than the protagonist of a lay path. We cannot fall into that trap — it is a sinful complicity.”

You can read Pope John Paul II’s reflections on this theme in a 2002 ad limina address to the bishops of Antilles.

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