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Thursday, 15 October 2015

An elephant in Rome

Evangelii Gaudium was said by an erudite friend to be "nothing more than pure Lutheranism."

Devolution to Bishops' Conferences is not Catholic. It is heretical to put anything between the Bishop and the Pope.


From Rorate:


Amidst all the talk from some Synod delegates and spokesmen about the "devolution" or "delegation" of important moral questions to the bishops' conferences, and the criticisms of a very few Synod fathers and Catholic commentators against this idea, there is the proverbial "elephant in the room" that no one wants to mention. We are referring to the fact that Pope Francis already endorsed the idea of "devolution" or "delegation" of doctrinal authority in nos. 32-33 of his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudiumthe true blueprint for his entire pontificate (our emphases):

32. Since I am called to put into practice what I ask of others, I too must think about a conversion of the papacy. It is my duty, as the Bishop of Rome, to be open to suggestions which can help make the exercise of my ministry more faithful to the meaning which Jesus Christ wished to give it and to the present needs of evangelization. Pope John Paul II asked for help in finding “a way of exercising the primacy which, while in no way renouncing what is essential to its mission, is nonetheless open to a new situation”. We have made little progress in this regard. The papacy and the central structures of the universal Church also need to hear the call to pastoral conversion. The Second Vatican Council stated that, like the ancient patriarchal Churches, episcopal conferences are in a position “to contribute in many and fruitful ways to the concrete realization of the collegial spirit”.Yet this desire has not been fully realized, since a juridical status of episcopal conferences which would see them as subjects of specific attributions, including genuine doctrinal authority, has not yet been sufficiently elaborated. Excessive centralization, rather than proving helpful, complicates the Church’s life and her missionary outreach. 
33. Pastoral ministry in a missionary key seeks to abandon the complacent attitude that says: “We have always done it this way”. I invite everyone to be bold and creative in this task of rethinking the goals, structures, style and methods of evangelization in their respective communities. A proposal of goals without an adequate communal search for the means of achieving them will inevitably prove illusory. I encourage everyone to apply the guidelines found in this document generously and courageously, without inhibitions or fear. The important thing is to not walk alone, but to rely on each other as brothers and sisters, and especially under the leadership of the bishops, in a wise and realistic pastoral discernment.

When Evangelii Gaudium was published in November 2013, we at Rorate immediately grasped the central importance of this passage, which is why we chose to highlight it. The reality is that for all the talk of "conspiracies" and "muddling through" in this pontificate, Francis and his closest advisers (Cardinals Maradiaga and Abp. Tucho Fernandez in particular) have been nothing if not clear about their intentions for "deep, total and irreversible" change in the Church. This passage in EG could not be any clearer about the direction where Francis wants the Church to go. 


1 comment:

Barona said...

As with every error, it piggybacks on a truth, or no one would buy into it. sin always looks seductive. The element of truth here, is that yes, Rome is too centralized. But the solution is to give the local bishop his real power back and not have him intimidated by the (usually) dissident Bishops' conference. The solution is to free him of these infernal conferences. Thus, Francis' solution will be rather than giving the medicine of freedom to the bishop, will be to infuse even more power to the local conference.