Monday, March 12, 2018


Fernandez, “Without the gaze of faith, the Pope is reduced to a character”

One of the closest and most powerful advisors to Pope Francis (there are many control freaks advising Pope Francis and in a fractious way, because it is all about power and control) who is also a ghost writer for the pope in some of His Holiness' most important document that have caused he most division in the Church since Vatican II stated the obvious but I am not sure he understands the implications for so many things "Vatican II."

You can read the complete interview here:
Interview with the archbishop - rector of the Catholic University of Argentina - on Francis’ five years of pontificate: there is a risk of reducing the Pope's messages to slogans

but here is the moneybite:

 The various reforms of the Roman Curia bodies are still on their way. How important are structural reforms?   

These reforms are very important, but they are also the most "reversible". Another Pope can come and create a huge Curia. In addition, the people who will be in these bodies will be decisive. But I believe that Francis was able to "de-idealize" the Vatican Curia - as well and forever, which should be seen only as an organization at service of the Pope, that does not replace the Pope or the bishops. 

My Comments: Bloated bureaucracies aren't just a Vatican problem but a diocesan problem and sometimes a parish problem. The same is true in Religous Orders of men and women, especially the liberal "spirit" of Vatican II ones where the process to coming to a decision or consensus is more important than the decision itself.

This reminds me of new math which began to be taught to me in the 6th grade--it was the process that one arrived at an answer, not the correct answer, that was most important. So you could get the wrong answer, but if the process by which you used had the correct new math philosophy you could get a passing grade. Thus 2 + 2 could = 5!

I think the process by which bureaucracies became power oriented and bloated at the Vatican and dioceses is a Vatican II phenomenon where "democratic political processes" were seen as divinely appointed for the Church. Thus the curia, diocesan chanceries, now so-called pastoral centers as well as parishes with councils and committees galore have become so encumbered with people each having their own opinions and political agendas as to distract the Church from her primary mission, building Catholic families, the Church in miniature, and assisting them in carrying out their mission in the world. We don't need clergy and laity galore in Churchy, institutional aspects of parishes, dioceses and the Vatican making things too complex and becoming lobbying forces for the CEO to consider or worse yet to be replaced.

Pope Francis is creating yet another form of this power playing through his emphasis on synods or bishops' conferences which have no real standing in the doctrines and dogmas of the Magisterium. Local bishop are "popes" in their own jurisdiction and only answer to the pope, not to the head of a bishops' conference or synod.

The worst part of all of this is that the pope who is a religious superior or general or king is reduced to a figurehead subjected to his curia. Or the curia takes upon itself a "controling" aspect independent from the three fold mission of the bishops of the Church, including the pope: to teach, RULE and sanctify ! Pastors share with their bishop in this three fold ministry in their local parishes

When power is the motivation for service in the Church independent of those who are in charge, like a pope, bishop or pastor then Rome, we have a problem.

Thus we need to look at all things Vatican II that have corrupted the actual mission of the Church in continuity with what preceded. Pope Benedict understood this, I am not sure those who influence the pope ina powerful power play sort of way know that!


rcg said...

Changes to a bureaucracy are not permanent. So whatever he does will last as long as he enforces them. The folks that work hard in the curia for the Church and for the glory of God would appreciate a little Passover-like activity.

Anonymous said...

The letter really gets down to the basic governing differences between Rome and the Eastern Orthodox Church. Councils and synods mean everything in the Orthodox Church; in fact, an ecumenical council (rare as those have been) is that Church's authority. So you have it where in Rome, all power flows down from the pope, and each diocesan bishop is their own pope (and is ultimately accountable only to Rome), and with the Eastern Orthodox, power is shared, more like the Anglican Communion. It is hard to see how unity could be achieved between Rome and the East when the governing styles are so different---and in part explains why after 50-odd years, dialogue between the two really hasn't led to anything fruitful in terms of reunion. What sort of governing agreement could be reached that would be acceptable to both sides?