restricted access Lay Ecclesial Ministers and Removal from Office: Seeking Justice and Fairness

Although the church has already acknowledged the value of lay ministry and has incorporated, in many areas, good procedures and policies pertaining to this ministry, it must be recognized that discrepancies still exist between what is preached and what is practiced.

The author examines the situation of lay ecclesial ministers' employment with a critical evaluation of the adequacy of personnel practices. She then presents measures provided by canon law and secular law to protect an individual's employment, and suggests avenues for developing and promoting just practices for the church as an employer, practices that, one would hope, would espouse the values of justice, equity, and compassion. Administrative recourse is briefly touched upon, both as a "last resort" tool to ensure justice and as a preventative measure.