Pope Francis is preparing a radical reform of the church’s power structures
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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This article is not at all reassuring.
‘Synodality has already worked before. “It has been the witness of bishops already that they change,” Luciani said, citing examples of prelates who were transformed in their beliefs during the synods at the Vatican on young people in 2018 and the Pan-Amazonian region in 2019.’
How can the bishops have really changed when their gatherings remain largely a talking shop for bishops only? And was the whole vast machinery of these synods, with their effort at worldwide consultation of the faithful, amply repaid by the chance that one or two bishops might be able to declare themselves enlightened? It is beginning to sound as if these synods are just evasive ballets warding off the real challenges and the need of reform.