Diane over at Cleansing Fire reviews Bishop Clark's book Forward in Hope. It is an excellent article detailing some of the fallout from the subjugation of the priesthood in favor of lay ecclesial ministers. From her review:
The financial burden on the laity is not addressed in Bishop Clark’s book, so we are left to wonder if 30,000 LEMs average at least $25,000 in salary; with benefits, expense reimbursement, training and education, resource consumption and using management time, that would represent a cost of well in excess of $1 billion annually! Can the Church really afford this new layer of “ministry”? Are there standards to which LEMs are held or for which they can be fired? Why is the financial issue not addressed, or the measurement of “results” for such an investment of Catholics’ contributions? Is this where the laity put their highest concerns? Or is it in keeping schools and churches open? It is only in the tension of such open discussion that the best decisions can be made for all.
Some of the quotes from lay ministers in the bishop's book are very troubling. There is much, much more in the review. Troubling yes, but things also begin to make sense.