Earlier this year, former Jesuit priest Paul Lakeland, a Fairfield University Catholic Studies professor, was invited to give an address to students and faculty at the University of San Diego. He received this honor despite the fact that in 2007 he was the media spokesman in favor of Connecticut Bill 1098, a bill that would have forced Catholic churches to reorganize along state-mandated lines—giving lay control over parishes and effectively removing the authority of priests and bishops.
As a spokesman in favor of the bill, Lakeland, like Cooke, has long lobbied for an end to what he calls the “structural oppression of the laity” by the clergy. In his books (published by Continuum) and speeches, Lakeland promises to help all Catholics “exercise their baptismal priesthood” and dismisses the role of the Catholic deacon as a “monster” which belongs to a “lay-ecclesial species.” Claiming that his newest book identifies the task of the laity as working “to build a non-clerical Church,”
Lakeland joins others in organizations like CORPUS and similar fringe Catholic groups to radically change the Church and marginalize the bishops’ teaching authority on issues like abortion, same-sex marriage, and women’s ordination. Earlier this week, Lakeland wrote a letter to President Lyons decrying her decision to rescind the invitation to Beattie (published on the “support Tina Beattie” website).
Link (here) to the Catholic World Report.