The New York Times features an article about a grassroots movement in Belgium and the Netherlands “that defies centuries of Roman Catholic Church doctrine by worshiping and sharing communion without a priest.”  The Don Bosco Catholic parish is, according to reporter Doreen Carvagal, “one of about a dozen alternative Catholic churches that have sprouted and grown in the last two years” as “an uneasy reaction to a combination of forces: a shortage of priests, the closing of churches, dissatisfaction with Vatican appointments of conservative bishops and, most recently, dismay over cover-ups of sexual abuse by priests.”  At Don Bosco and other “ecclesia movement” parishes, Mass and sacraments are presided over by lay “conductors,” former priests, and other persons unauthorized by Vatican and Belgian Catholic officials.

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