Claire Giangrave writes in the NCR online:
VATICAN CITY — In 2001, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio was a rapporteur for the summit of bishops at the Vatican — and he did not like what he saw.
The Catholic Church had adopted a top-to-bottom approach that stripped local churches of any decision-making power, and the synod of bishops was reduced to nothing more than a stamp of approval for prepackaged conclusions made in Rome.
When Bergoglio emerged as Pope Francis in the 2013 conclave, the synodal process was high on his list for reform.
“There was a cardinal who told us what should be discussed and what should not,” Francis said about his experience at the 2001 general synod in an interview with the Argentine newspaper La Nation in 2014. “That will not happen now,” he added.
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