In the January 1, 2012 bulletin there's an unsigned article about new changes coming from our pastoral council. In an effort to improve communications with parishioners, council members will begin wearing name tags, will hold "periodic input sessions" open to parishioners, and allow parishioners to observe and comment at council meetings "during the open portion of the meeting."
Then there's the kicker:
"At times, when the subject matter is sensitive or potentially controversial, the Council’s advice is best given in a closed meeting so that members can give the most honest and candid advice without fear of being vilified or ridiculed, or having their input misquoted out of context or passed to other parish members inaccurately or prematurely."
Video taping the meetings and having them available on the new website would solve some of the problems, unlike statements like above that raise more questions than they answer. What in the world could be so sensitive or controversial that it can't be said in the light of day? This seems like a way of actually keeping council members separated from the parishioners. Council members are supposed to represent parishioners, right? What they have to say and advise should reflect the desires and intentions of those they represent, right?
So, on the one hand, these honest and good people are going to be wearing name tags so we can identify them, speak with them and finally be heard. On the other hand, when it comes down to the nitty gritty of decisions that affect the whole parish, they aren't allowed to speak freely, but must do it in closed session.
Something isn't right.