Cleansing Fire has an article titled Pastoral Councils in the Diocese of Rochester. It brings up some relevant points, which I am not sure are applicable to our parish. From the article:
I was scanning through the Code of Canon Law the other day and came upon Canon 536, which happens to be the section of the code which describes the pastoral council. Here is what the Canon says, with my emphasis:
“Can. 536 §1 If, after consulting the council of priests, the diocesan Bishop considers it opportune, a pastoral council is to be established in each parish. In this council, which is presided over by the parish priest, Christ’s faithful, together with those who by virtue of their office are engaged in pastoral care in the parish, give their help in fostering pastoral action.”
The Canon states that the pastoral council is to be presided over by the “parish priest.” This got me to thinking. We have a large number of parishes in the diocese currently headed by lay pastoral administrators (16 parishes spanning several churches).