Fr Paul Harrison (Thoughts from the Lune Valley) has been visiting Fr John Boyle, the South Ashford Priest and Fr Ray Blake at St Mary Magdalen's, Brighton.
Fr Ray has posted a very good article (Thoughts with the Lune Valley in Brighton) discussing the involvement of the laity in parishes before and after Vatican II. I agree wholeheartedly with his observations and would like to add an example of my own.
In the late 1930s, my father was a teenager in St Margaret's parish, Canning Town. The parish not only had the Knights of St Columba but also the junior branch, the "Squires". Several of the Knights were members on West Ham Borough Council. They used to give lectures to the young lads on Catholic social teaching and its application in practice.
It is important to note that Vatican II did not call for lay ministry in the Church. But it did publish a whole decree on the lay apostolate. Without the need for any "time bombs" or ambiguities, the Council's teaching on the laity has been largely subverted by the proponents of lay ministry.
Fr Paul is coming over to visit Blackfen on Saturday.