Belgaum diocese creates history, appoints layperson as Laity secretary
Belgaum, Jun 20: Bishop Peter Machado of Belgaum has appointed a laywoman, Clara Fernandes as the secretary of the Diocesan Laity Commission, thus creating history.
This is the first instance in the Church in Karnataka where a layperson has been appointed for the post of laity secretary. Hitherto, priests were appointed for the post.
Clara Fernandes is also the president of the Catholic Association of Belgaum diocese. On the national-level she holds the posts of the national secretary, All India Catholic Union and executive committee member of Catholic Council of India.
The appointment of a layperson to a responsible post in the Church is very significant in the 50th Year of Vatican II and in keeping with the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium #37- “Let the spiritual shepherds recognize and promote the dignity as well as the responsibility of the laity in the Church. Let them [the shepherds] willingly employ their [the laity] prudent advice. Let them confidently assign duties to them [the laity] in the service of the Church, allowing them freedom and room for action”.