I see that Dave Armstrong has done me the inestimable honor of citing me in a recent post about Catholic apologetics.
To this I’d just say a couple of things:
1.What does his local bishop think of Dave’s “apostolate”? For example, does his bishop arrange any speaking arrangements for Dave?
2.Yes, the papacy encourages a lay apostolate the way a principal encourages student government. Just as student government gives a gullible junior high or high school student the illusion that he has a real say in the process, papal encouragement of the laity gives them the illusion that a layman has a real say in the process.
The policy-makers learned along time ago that the best way to avert a grassroots insurrection is to give a gabby member of the hoi polloi his own office—preferably a windowless room in the subbasement—with his own name on the door, his own letterhead, and a fancy title; then steer a lot of busywork his way—like polishing the brass plaque with his name on the door, sharpening departmental pencils, and filing departmental memos on interdepartmental pencil-sharpening protocols.
Something along the lines of:
The Acting Assistant Undersecretary to the Ad Hoc Committee for the Department of Interdepartmental Acting Assistant Undersecretaries.