A Constitution for the Catholic ChurchThe idea of creating a new Constitution for the Church is not new

La Croix International reports:

The Synodal consultations hold the promise of meaningful reforms. In that context the Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research has constructed a proposed Constitution for the Catholic Church. If accepted and implemented, it would thoroughly overhaul the way in which the Church operates.

Most modern States in our day and age are governed by a Constitution that underpins their secular laws. A Constitution lays down the fundamental rights and obligations of citizens and functionaries. A Catholic Constitution would do the same for canon law. The question is: do the spiritual values enshrined in the Gospel not already form a kind of ‘constitution’ for the community of believers which Jesus ‘founded’? The answer is: No!

The Church is a completely human structure, just as Jesus imbued though he was by the divine presence of his Father, remained totally human. To survive, Jesus needed to eat and drink. He got tired and needed to sleep. He would take shelter in the midday sun. He spoke Aramaic, but needed an interpreter when responding to a Greek-speaking Hellenist. In the same way the structure of the Church is entirely human. It can suffer from faulty human management. It will benefit from incorporating the best human insights. In fact, our present Church suffers heavily from institutional diseases incurred over the centuries: male-domination and excessive uniformity inherited from Roman law and class-divided top-down bureaucracy copied from feudal kingdoms to mention but a few. The tragedy is that, on account of it, the billion-strong Catholic community, hamstrung by the Church’s faulty structures, cannot effectively fulfil Christ’s life-giving mission to our world’s marginalized and poverty-struck people.

The idea of creating a new Constitution for the Church is not new. Inspired by Vatican II, Pope Paul VI initiated in 1965 work on a Lex Ecclesiae Fundamentalis (“Fundamental Law of the Church”), a constitution which would have underpinned all canon law in the Catholic Church. But that effort ceased in 1981 when, predictably perhaps, traditionalist John Paul II decided to shelve the already finished constitution. The challenge was taken up again by the Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church which published a Proposed Constitution for the Catholic Church in 1998.

Read more at: https://international.la-croix.com/news/religion/a-constitution-for-the-catholic-church/16523

Similar Posts

Join the Discussion

Keep the following in mind when writing a comment

  • Your comment must include your full name, and email. (email will not be published). You may be contacted by email, and it is possible you might be requested to supply your postal address to verify your identity.
  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger. Comments containing vulgarities, personalised insults, slanders or accusations shall be deleted.
  • Keep to the point. Deliberate digressions don't aid the discussion.
  • Including multiple links or coding in your comment will increase the chances of it being automati cally marked as spam.
  • Posts that are merely links to other sites or lengthy quotes may not be published.
  • Brevity. Like homilies keep you comments as short as possible; continued repetitions of a point over various threads will not be published.
  • The decision to publish or not publish a comment is made by the site editor. It will not be possible to reply individually to those whose comments are not published.