Sunday, October 18, 2015
A National Church #1
I suppose that we might continue to sing, "Unam, sanctam, catholicam et apostolicam ecclesiam" but as 'diversity' increases as the new fashion, then possibly we should be singing about believing in "multas ecclesias". This argument about 'one' and 'many' has been going on since I was a seminarian, it was the urs-argument between Ratzinger and Kasper, and although Ratzinger's raising to the Apostolic throne seemed to show the triumph of the 'one' camp, yesterdays speech by the present incumbent shows that there is victory for Kasper and Germany, who follow the 'many' camp. Apparently there have been rather grand banquets in Cdn Marx's grand Rome palatio, whether these are to scheme or celebrate the victory, no-one knows.
So here we are back in the 1970s arguing about the position of deckchairs and looking 'ad intra', returning to the 'safe' squabbles that distract from the Church's teaching and mission, and will be consumed for many years by the churches policies. Rather than having one leprous court in Rome, each Episcopal Conference, each Metropolitan will have their own leprous court, with their own highly paid leprous courtiers, and if they can't afford them then priests will be called in from celebrating the sacraments and preaching to assume the duties of leprous court officials. Powerful or rich Churches of course will have their own quasi-embassies in Rome, to put their position to the Pope and to influence the other Churches. Rather than removing bureaucracy we will layer upon layer to it.
The obvious area for national Churches to be given increasing influence is in the nomination of bishops, and possibly the deposition of heretical or troublesome bishops. There are obvious advantages, they can act as 'brothers, dwelling in harmony', but for us England and elsewhere it means a return to an excluding 'Magic Circle', with all the dangers of nepotism or patronage: both Cormac and Vin are the political progeny of Archbishop Warlock, they were both his secretaries.
If the CDF is diminished presumably national Churches will be free to develop their own local theologies, with no appeal to Rome against heresy - God help us - it will be a free for all.
If CDW is abolished or diminished, then Liturgy will develop along national lines - there will be no need to ask if lay people can preach. No need to restrict the role of odd or extraordinary ministers or of who might or might not receive the Sacraments, we will just refer to the local bishop or bishops.In the same way we in the English speaking world, if it wasn't for Rome would still be stuck with those dreadful post-Concilliar translations.
What I fear as a priest is there will be no appeal to Rome if my bishop is heretical or just plain cruel, just an appeal to the Bishop's Conference, who may or may not be his mates rather than mine and may or may not share his cruelty or moral turpitude.
Posted by Fr Ray Blake